Buying a house for the first time can be a special experience. There are a hundred things you’ll learn and not all of them will be positive. If you are planning to buy one, and looking to learn from other people’s experiences, here are a few dos and don’ts to remember:
The Alice in Wonderland approach to home buying can leave you shaken and stirred. A little research about the average housing costs, monthly outgoings, interest rates, etc. can help you save money. Do not assume that you can afford to buy the house only because you have saved for the down payment. The job market and rising prices also play a crucial role in deciding affordability.
In the months that follow after buying a house, you’ll learn to appreciate the value of the phrase – every penny counts. Almost everybody underestimates the hidden costs of buying a house. From curtains and doormats, to fixtures and furnishings, there may be a hundred odd things you may have to buy. Put major purchases on hold, although it is difficult to resist.
There are a zillion websites showcasing real estate properties on sale. But a good real estate agent can help you navigate the process. Real estate agents know the market well, understand seller ploys, and help you bargain a better deal.
It is important to find a house you’ll love, but don’t let emotional decisions come in the way of rational choices. It makes no sense to buy a house that you love, but is way off your budget.
Even if you intend to resell the house in a few years, things such as neighborhood, quality of the local schools, etc. are important. And if you intend to stay here as long as you live, look at the long term prospects of living here.
In fact, some real estate agents won’t even consider helping you unless there is a pre-approval in place. Real estate agents get a fair idea about the houses you can afford. Also, it is better to be clear about credit ratings before you even begin shopping.
Some agents recommend putting aside 2- 3% of your budget for closing costs. They can add up quickly.
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