Ever since you watched your first episode of House Hunters, you have been dying to buy your first home. Now that you and your partner have saved for some time, it is finally time to take that step. All those HGTV shows prepared you for this moment, or so you think. Here are five things you should know before you buy your first home.
Contact multiple mortgage lenders
Mortgage rates vary lender by lender. Some lenders may be more scrupulous than others. When they give you the loan paperwork, go over the final lender fees and costs. If you see a fee that looks suspicious or overpriced, ask the lender to explain what it relates to or lower the cost. According to Forbes, a difference of .05 to 1 percent makes a big difference over the life of a 30-year home loan. Shop around, and get the best deal possible.
Plan for moving costs
Many people may factor the cost of movers into their home buying budget. However, you should also think about transitional costs. Perhaps you will find a home before your lease ends, so you may end up paying a mortgage and a lease. Or maybe the home buying process will take a long time, and you will wind up staying in a hotel or another rental. If you do have to move before you buy, you may have to store your furniture somewhere. Build a little extra cushion for these types of expenses.
You can change the paint
Repainting rooms is one the easiest fixes. Your time watching HGTV may have opened your eyes to this. However, other cosmetic fixes may throw you off, like the terrible kitchen cabinet hardware, the ugly blinds or the dated chandeliers. All these fixes cost money, but are relatively inexpensive and easy compared to other issues. Try not to get caught up with superficial problems in a potential home.
Every home has some issues
Unless you are buying a brand-new home, a home inspection will reveal some problems. Maybe the sink is improperly plumbed, the tub stopper does not work or the windows are rotted out. Some problems are bigger and more expensive to fix. You may not need to walk away from a home with these issues, but you might want to ask the seller to fix, or pay to fix, some problems. Before you ask the seller for money, get an accurate estimate of how much it will cost to fix. If the seller refuses to pay, decide if that is a deal breaker or not.
Your list of musts may change
Most first-time buyers have a long list of must have items for their new house. You have a neighborhood in mind, want an updated kitchen or an attached garage. After you start looking, you might realize your options are extremely limited with those specifications. Broaden your target neighborhood a few miles or settle for a slightly less updated kitchen. A first-time homebuyer rarely gets everything on his or her list. Being flexible speeds the process along, and you may find that nearly perfect house after all.
Buying your first home is an exciting time. However, remember to have some flexibility and decide what is truly important to you. You will likely have some questions during the process, and you may want to have an attorney look over the paperwork to ensure you and your new home are protected.