There are few things in life as exciting, memorable and flat-out terrifying as buying a house for the first time. Even though this is an event that you have likely dreamed about for years, it can be quite daunting once the time actually arrives.
In fact, the challenges involved with buying a new home can be so intimidating for some people that they just continue to pay rent and live in someone else’s house.
But that is not the case for you. You are stepping up, moving out and making the most important and meaningful purchase of your life so far.
However, even though owning a home is still a fundamental aspect of the American Dream, it carries with it an enormous amount of responsibility that can be overwhelming at first. Not to worry, this guide is designed to help simplify the very complex world of home buying and give first-time buyers like yourself a blueprint for success.
A Guide to Buying Your First Home
Before You Buy
Well before the actual home buying process begins, there are several important considerations and decisions to be made. First off, you need to make sure that you understand your own motivations for buying a house.
Are you doing it because your family is growing and you want to set down roots? Or are you simply fed up with wasting money on rent? These and many other motivations are totally valid, legitimate reasons to purchase a home for the first time, but you need to determine your own honest motivations, as that will determine much about the house you need and your path going forward.
The Right House
Finding the right home for you and your family may not be as straightforward as it seems. Even after you have determined your motivations for buying a house, there are many other key factors that will influence and determine what house you should buy.
You need to begin the process by making a list of what factors are important to you, beginning with elements you can’t live without and go down through the things that would just be nice. A few such factors with which you can begin include:
- Number of bedrooms
- Neighborhood and geographic location
- Proximity to schools, work, etc.
- Total square footage
- Fence, swimming pool, front/back yard and other outside features
- Number of floors/levels
- Washer/dryer and other appliance needs
- Any other factors that are important to you
Getting a Mortgage
While looking for the right house can be fun and exciting, getting your first mortgage is not. From beginning to end, this can be a challenging experience, but it can be the most important part of the entire process. The first step is taking an honest, realistic look at your finances and determining what you can afford and how much you can put down.
Since you are inexperienced in this process, your friends and family can be very helpful resources. Local people who own houses in the area will know which bank has the best mortgage loan rates, which real estate agents are most trustworthy, and many other helpful pieces of information.
While buying your first house can be a nerve-racking, frightening and stressful event, it will also prove to be one of the most rewarding events of your entire life.
You are likely purchasing a location that will be a part of your family for decades, and even if you go on to buy many more houses, your first will always hold a special place in your heart.