How to Buy a House for the First Time

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There can be a myriad of emotions when you are about to buy your first home. While you can feel excited, you may also feel nervous, confused, and even a little stressed. Feeling these emotions all at the same time is normal, especially if you have been working hard to arrive at this point in your life.

Before you jump into a decision and make a purchase, let us first give you a few pointers on how you can buy your first house without getting any regret afterward.

Know Your Budget

The amount of your savings is one of the many things that matter a lot when planning to buy a new home. You can look anywhere for possible houses for sale, but you will never be able to buy any of those if your budget does not allow you to make the purchase. Be realistic with how much you can afford and how much extra you will need for renovations if the house ever needs one.

Secure Financing

Fortunately, if your savings do not allow you to purchase a house in cash, you can ask assistance from firms that offer a mortgage loan. These can be banks, lending institutions, credit unions, or mortgage bankers. Any loan you get from these firms incur an interest, so be sure that your monthly income will be able to cover the amortizations required.

Assess Your Needs

First, ask yourself this question “What kind of home are you looking for?” Homes come in different varieties, each of which come with their own perks and advantages. The best type of home is one that fits your lifestyle and personal needs. Do you want to live in a condominium? Will a townhome be better for you? Or will you be better off buying a bungalow, split-level, or single-family home?

Condominiums are high-rise property units owned by different individuals. Each owner has a share in the ownership of the community property, such as the pools, sidewalks, stairwells, exterior areas, and the land by which the structure is built. All owners are required to pay monthly homeowner association dues, which are used for the overall upkeep of the property.

A townhouse is a multi-level home where owners share one or two walls with other property owners but have different home entrances. They mostly have a uniform look. Owners also share the same amenities with other owners and may also pay monthly dues for the upkeep of the entire community grounds and facilities.

A bungalow is basically a one-story house. They are relatively easy to maintain but may have smaller rooms as compared to multi-floor houses.

A single-family home is a structure that sits on its own piece of land. Its utilities and walls are unshared so you can have more freedom and privacy with this type of home. You can also have more storage space and you can build future extensions if you want to since the home is not connected to any other units.

Do Your Research

Do not just settle for the first property that you come across. Investigate the history of the house first, its market value, how long it has been put for sale in the market, its condition, renovation history, and many more. You may also want to know if its location is safe if it is susceptible to flooding, and the reason why the house is being sold. Basically, ask these questions when doing your investigations:

  • Why is the property being sold?
  • How long has it been up for sale?
  • What is the total selling price?
  • Is the price negotiable?
  • Are repairs required for the home?
  • What is the lowest offer for the property?

You can make an offer but as much as possible, do not disclose the amount you are willing to shell out or how much loan you have been approved. Negotiate with the owner or the agent before finally making a decision.

If the house is in the pre-selling stage, knowing the developer of the property may also help you make a sound decision. Houses made by seasoned and top developers may be almost risk-free because these developers have a reputation to protect. This does not mean, however, that less popular developers or those who are new in the market are not trustworthy.

You may also want to consider the size of the land, the size of the house, and its amenities before making a purchase. Once you have chosen the best home for you, you can then make your payment and sign contracts if required.