Buying a house is a long-term commitment and one of the biggest purchases you will ever make. Therefore, it is important you do it right. Below are 6 home purchasing tips to help you buy the right house that you can afford.
Work with a Reputable Realtor
Buying a house can be overwhelming as it a complex process that involves many procedures. A realtor comes in handy to help you with the processes involved. They hand-hold you in negotiating the price, overseeing home inspection, and eventually closing. They also protect and present your interests to the seller.
Although it is costly to hire a realtor, it is worthwhile as long as they are reliable. In most cases, the realtor is paid a percentage of the house sale price.
It is important to know who you deal with, and therefore, you may want to check online reviews and websites like Pissedconsumer.com for a prospective realtor before hiring one. On such forums and review platforms, you are far more likely to find real consumer reviews and honest feedback about the offered services.
Consider Your Long-Term Life Goals
Don’t buy a house for your current lifestyle. Consider the trajectory of your life in the next 5-10 years. For instance, you might be single when buying a house, but you want to marry and have kids in the next 5-10 years. In this case, you should buy a house that would be suitable for your family.
Get Your Finances in Order
Build up your credit score and save up for the down payment. Start working on your credit score way before you buy the house. It is a significant factor in determining your mortgage interest rates. The lower your credit score, the lower your interest rates.
If you have a student loan, keep in mind that it is considered debt, affecting your credit score. The best option is to pay it off or have an ongoing payment plan by the time you are seeking a mortgage.
Down payments range between 20-25% of the home value. You also want to have some spare money to help you with moving in and making mortgage payments in the next 3-6 months.
Buy a House You Can Afford
Aside from the purchase price, consider the costs associated with running the new home, e.g., insurance, energy bills, maintenance costs, real estate taxes, etc. Also, factor in additional costs involved in the buying process, e.g., hiring a realtor, home inspection, and closing.
The mortgage amount your mortgage company thinks you can afford is not an accurate representation of what you can actually afford. Most financial experts recommend that you commit only 1/3 of your gross income towards mortgage payments. Use that amount to determine how much mortgage you should aim for, inclusive of interest.
Also, consider if you anticipate any change of jobs or fluctuations in income and whether you would still be able to make your mortgage payments. Don’t bite more than you can swallow. Otherwise, you risk foreclosure.
Inspect the quality of the lawn
It may sound a little absurd, but this is going to make a massive difference if this is going to be the house that you move into. Each time you visit a house, be sure to check the quality of the lawn. This includes how healthy the grass is, what is currently being grown, and check the color of the grass too.
If you see too much dead or dried grass or even plants, then chances are there are not enough minerals in the ground. Getting more nutrients in the ground isn’t any task. This is a process that can take several years, if not longer. Curb appeal is a major factor in the first impressions the household will receive from neighbors and visitors but this will also affect the value of the house too. Buying a home is an investment that should increase over time, not decrease. This is why it’s very important to inspect each lawn and talk to the current homeowners about their experience with their lawn. Some of the questions you can be:
- How often do you fertilize the land?
- Have you ever had difficulties growing anything?
- What sort of tools have you used for maintenance?
- Does the string trimmer line help with cutting the grass or do you prefer another option for cutting the lawn?
- What are some of the current plants being grown on the front and back lawn?
It may sound excessive to ask these questions but if this is going to be the house that you end up purchasing then it’s very important to be well informed.
Get Home Inspection for a Prospective House
A home inspection helps to determine whether a given house is worth purchasing. It involves identifying any structural or safety defects.
Inspection should be done before the closing process. However, if purchasing a new home, you should have a second inspection done on the 11th month after closing. Most new home construction companies offer their customers a 1-year guarantee on new homes, and you want to ensure there are no major issues with the property before the expiry of the guarantee.
Hire a certified home inspector. The home inspection process involves examining the roofing, heating, plumbing, exterior, and interior. The process takes a few hours, after which the inspector will then update you about any issues they may have noticed. The average cost of a home inspection is $300 – $500.
Choose a House Style that Resonates with You
House style trends are constantly changing, and each has a unique look and feel. Look around to get a sense of what is trending and whether you like some of the styles. Only buy a house that resonates with you no matter the trends.
The process of becoming a homeowner can be scary and exciting in equal measure. However, when done right, it is worthwhile. Ensure you do your due diligence of the house and the buying process and buy a house you can afford.