It’s an exciting time in your life. You’ve worked hard, you saved up — you’re considering buying your first home. But the road between first time homebuyers and the dotted line can be full of rookie mistakes. To help you spot these pitfalls before you’re in them, here’s three things to consider when going from homebuying to home owning for the first time.
- Consider your budget before AND after you buy
The ol’ fixer-upper bungalow may seem charming, but if you buy without considering the whole financial picture, you may not realize how much time and money is really needed until it’s too late. Run your budget before and after you buy to make sure you’re considering everything that needs to be fixed and how much it all actually costs. If you don’t, all of these little fixes can add up and potentially cost you more in the long run than you originally anticipated.
- Meet your potential neighbors
The ideal neighborhood depends on what you want, but every neighborhood relies on one thing: the neighbors. Going to meet the neighbors before making your big decision may help avoid getting yourself into a miserable situation. Find out what you want to know before you sign on the dotted line. Do the neighbors have kids? Are they younger or older than you? Do they like to socialize, or are they introverts? What are the neighborhood complaints? Knowing all of this ahead of time can make the decision process easier and your actual time in the house much less stressful.
- Choose a home that fits your lifestyle needs.
You might have dreamed about the big house with the white picket fence for a while, but that may not be realistic for your first purchase. After all, a dream home is only a dream if the maintenance and upkeep aren’t driving you crazy. Consider your lifestyle and commitment to upkeep your property before buying something that requires regular maintenance (like that big yard or pool). Begin with weighing the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a condo, townhouse, or detached single family home. Visualizing how you’ll live will help you identify what you can reasonably manage so you can avoid an overwhelming situation.
Only you can know what’s right for you and your family, but at Open Mortgage we know a thing or two about the home buying process. If you’re in the market to buy a home, reach out to me today.