Buying your first home is a huge endeavor and the decision to do so should not be made lightly.  In fact, it is likely to be the largest financial decision you will ever make.  So, be smart and be prepared. Do your research before you even start looking at houses and make sure you know what you are getting into.  Here are some important steps to take before buying your first home:

  1. Make sure being a homeowner is right for you.  While the idea of owning a home is exciting, there is a lot that goes into it.  If you’ve been paying rent, you might find that a mortgage payment is less than what you’ve been paying.  That is a positive thing for sure. But you need to consider that as the homeowner it will now be your responsibility to handle the maintenance and upkeep of your home.  If something breaks, you won’t have a landlord or management company to call to fix it.  You will have to fix it yourself or hire someone to do so…and pay for it.  Investing in a home can be financially rewarding if you work within an appropriate budget  that will allow you to meet all your needs.
     
  2. Consider financing.  How do you plan to pay for your new house?  This is an important step in determining how much you can afford to spend on a house.  Do your homework and avoid being in the middle of the home-buying process and discovering that you don’t have the funds you need to complete the purchase. Check out loan programs for firs time home-buyers and if you haven’t already, start setting aside cash for a down payment.  Order a free credit report and give yourself time to clean up your credit if need be. I highly recommend getting pre-approved for a loan before starting your home search. This lets sellers know that you are serious about buying and gives you a leg up over buyers who haven’t been pre-approved when making an offer.
     
  3. Figure out what you want.  Before you start looking at properties, create a list of what you want in a home.  Are you looking to live in the suburbs or would you prefer city living?  Is the school district you live in a top priority?  Are you looking for a spacious home with a big yard, or a cozy home with a small yard?  Think about your lifestyle and what kind of house goes along with it.  Once you have a good idea of what you want, narrowing down your search will be easier and you won’t waste your time looking at properties that don’t suit your needs.
     
  4. Enlist the aid of a buyer's agent.  The expert guidance of an experienced Realtor is invaluable.  A buyer’s agent represents you and has a fiduciary responsibility to look out for your best interests.  You will appreciate the knowledge that a local realtor will have about the area where you are looking.  Once provided with a list of your wants and needs, a Realtor can save you time by searching listings to find homes that meet your criteria. Your agent can advise you on neighborhoods, school districts and much, much more.  Take advantage of your Realtor’s expertise and your home-buying experience much less overwhelming and stressful.

If you are thinking about purchasing a house, contact Melissa Thompson at yourkeytomemphis.com and let her help you get started on your journey to home-ownership!

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Happily-Ever-Homeowner

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/The-5-Greatest-Benefits-of-Homeownership

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/The-Cost-of-Renting-vs-Buying-in-the-US

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