Select Page

Buying your first home can be an intimidating process. There are so many different things to consider—from price to location, to school district—it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. This post will highlight some of the most important things you need to consider before you purchase your first home.

Location

Don’t just buy a home because you want to be a homeowner. Experts recommend that you plan to remain in your home for at least five to seven years after you purchase it. If you purchase a home and then immediately sell it, you might end up losing money. The location you choose will depend on a number of factors. For example, do you plan to purchase the home on your own or with a partner? Where is your job located? Do you plan to raise children in the home?

Take the time to think carefully about what’s most important to you. Write it all down, and use this list as a guide while looking at different locations. While it’s unlikely that you’ll find an area that has everything you want, you should choose an area that features the things that are most important to you.

Budget

Once you know where you want to live, you’ll have to determine how much money you’re willing to spend. Keep in mind that the location you want to live in might be over your budget. Realtor.com is a great resource for looking at home prices in the area you are interested in. This will give you an idea of how much money you should plan on saving for a down payment. Remember that market prices fluctuate, so it’s a good idea to frequently review home prices.

Credit Score

In order to qualify for a mortgage, you will need a good credit score. If you have a bad credit score, you will have to pay a higher interest rate on your mortgage loan. There are numerous sites that offer free credit reports, but if you want to see your FICO score you’ll probably have to pay. Don’t attempt to fix your credit score while looking for a home. It’s better to raise your score first and then look for a home—that way you’ll be sure to get the best possible rates on your mortgage loan.

Down Payment

Most experts recommend that you contribute a down payment of 20% in order to get the best mortgage loan terms. If you put down less than 20%, you will have to pay private mortgage insurance or PMI. You will have to pay PMI until your lender no longer considers you at risk for defaulting on your mortgage. Before you start searching for a home, open a savings account and start saving—the sooner the better. This article lists some of the best ways to earn the most interest on the money that you save.

Professional Assistance

The home buying process is difficult to navigate on your own, so don’t be afraid to seek some sort of professional assistance. Step one is to look for an agent who knows the area where you plan to buy. You want to make sure that the person you hire is knowledgeable about the area. It’s also important that you and the agent have the right chemistry. If you don’t trust your agent it will be a difficult process. Here’s a helpful list of 20 questions you should ask when interviewing potential real estate agents. By hiring a professional, you will make the home buying process a lot easier and a lot less stressful.