Congratulations on finally deciding to buy your first house! How does it feel?
In your entire lifetime, buying a house will be one of the biggest financial commitments you will make. While buying your first house may sound like a lucrative investment for the best life ahead, it may easily turn into your worst nightmare if not wisely executed.
So, what are some of the things you need to know before finally making the big move? Here are 5 of the most important ones:
- Can You Afford It? Are the Monthly and ‘Hidden Expenses’ Sustainable?
First, are you aware of all the expenses involved in buying a house? And will they all be sustainable to you? At the back of your mind, you may be thinking that the only expenses involved are the deposits, monthly installments, and mortgage taxes. No, you will also bear insurance costs and real estate taxes.
Other hidden expenses you need to be aware of and plan for include the titling expenses, transfer fees, and home repairs and improvement costs.
2. Do You Have a Credited Realtor?
While most people think that realtors are just some ‘brokers’ out to cash in on home-buying deals, eliminating them can cause you one hell of a nightmare. As a buyer, a realtor only makes life easier for you since they get their commission from (represent) the home seller.
A credited realtor will help you through the complex paperwork involved in buying a house, take you through the home inspection process, and help you navigate the price negotiation easily. Research credited real estate agents within your area and get one to help you through the often tedious process.
3. Do You Like the Neighborhood?
Before you settle on a house, make sure you like the neighborhood because you’re going to spend years of your life there. Your children will grow up there, go to schools there, make friends, and the community will shape their future.
Take a few days and walk around the neighborhood to assess things like noise levels, types of neighbors, and social amenities (e.g. schools, hospitals, churches, and mosques). Also check on things like noise levels (best checked at night, or at dawn), hygiene, night lighting, and security.
Don’t settle on a house unless you can stand most of the things you see around the neighborhood.
4. What Are Your Future (Long-Term) Plans/Goals?
Buying a house is a long-term, sometimes even lifetime commitment. If you are buying it to stay in rather than lease, you need to consider your long-term plans/goals.
For instance, are you planning to shift jobs soon? Are you planning to marry/get married? How many children will you have? Do you plan to move to another city/country soon? Will you be living with your aged parents someday?
Your plans determine whether the house you buy will be convenient for you in the future or not. Make sure you factor them in before settling in on that house deal.
5. Have You Done Your Due Diligence?
When buying a house, this means ‘have you done your homework? Aside from knowing the neighborhood and all the expenses involved, your homework before buying a house also involves requesting a house inspection and an appraisal before making an offer on it.
It also involved reviewing all the documents involved, word by word, before signing any of them. You will also need to research the market value/trends of houses around that area before making your offer.
Since buying a house involves committing a large amount of money, you cannot afford to leave the t’s uncrossed and the i’s undotted. Go for something that is within your means and won’t leave you leaving frugally for the years to come. Also, understand the neighborhood and factor in your long-term goals.
With a credited realtor and proper due diligence, you are well on your way to reaching the big dream of finally owning a home!