Buying a home is a big deal.
Too often, I think people rush into home ownership because it’s seen as a sign of adulthood and financial responsibility.
But owning a home is a big commitment, it’s not a guaranteed good investment, and it’s a truckload of work. (I’ve been a homeowner for only two years and I already have a growing list of things to do and contractors to call…it’s not always the creative paradise remodeling shows make it out to be).
And last but not least, believe me, lots of people own homes and yet their finances are a mess! Home ownership can be a smart long-term move, but you want to know what you’re getting into.
With that said, I know that if you’re reading this, you’re probably going to buy a house anyway. That’s fine; I did too. So here I’ve put together a first time home buying guide to wrap up our best advice over the last few years in once place. Enjoy!
How to buy your first home
Ask yourself: ‘Is it really time for me to buy a home?’
Don’t buy a home just because everybody’s doing it (they’re not) or because your Uncle Joe told you that it’s stupid to “throw money away” on rent (he’s wrong, too).
Don’t buy a home because it’s a buyer’s market or just because of low mortgage rates. Buy a home because you want to be a homeowner. Buy a home because you’re settling down and need a place for live for at least five years. And only buy a home if you’re financially ready.
Determine how you will afford your home
For most of us, our home is the most expensive thing we’ll ever buy. And for most of us, we need one big loan to do it—a mortgage.
If you remember all the foreclosures that happened during the recession, a mortgage is not something to be taken lightly.
To pay for your first home, you’ll need good credit, a steady job, and a sizable chunk of cash for a down payment. Navigating the waters of home financing isn’t always easy, but these articles can help guide you.
Go shopping for your first home
Avoid creating a financial disaster by preparing your finances before going house hunting!
In a perfect world, you would commit to buying a home and get mortgage pre-approval before stepping foot into your first open house. Obviously, it may be you didn’t realize you wanted to own a home until you see your dream home. Either way, shopping for a home can be a long and taxing experience.
Seal the deal at closing
As if getting a mortgage and finding the perfect house wasn’t enough, you’ll soon learn that it’s only half of the home-buying process.