If you're finally tired of renting, and you want to join the growing ranks of home ownership, it's time to start preparing for the adventure. Buying your first home is more than just finding the right house and signing on the dotted line. In fact, if you're not prepared, you could end up facing an uphill battle, unable to find the perfect home. To make sure you get the home of your dreams, here are four steps you should take before you enter the housing market.
Save for Your Closing Costs
In most cases, you're going to need a sizable amount of money to purchase your first home. There are programs that will help first-time home buyers with their down payment. However, even if you qualify for those programs, there will still be costs associated with your home purchase, including closing costs and points. Before you start shopping for a home, make sure you have enough money saved to pay for those initial costs.
Narrow Your Search Area
When it comes time to start looking for your first home, it's important that you know where you want to live. The last thing you want to do is travel all over town looking for a home. Before you begin actively shopping for a home, make sure you narrow the search area as much as possible. For instance, if you have a specific community, or neighborhood that you're interested in, or you like the schools in one particular area of town, document those areas. That way, when you're finally ready to go house hunting, you'll know which areas to concentrate on.
Choose Your Must-Have's
Now that you're ready to buy your first home, you'll want to make sure that it suits your needs – and your wants. Take the time to choose your must-have's before you start shopping for a home. Some must-have's you may want to focus on will include:
- Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- Sewer or Septic
Find the Right Realtor
Buying your first home can be confusing. That's why it's crucial that you have a realtor you can work with. To help you find the perfect home, make sure you find the right realtor. Don't be afraid to sit down with several realtors until you find one that you feel comfortable with.
If you're in the market for your first home, use the tips provided here to help you prepare for the process. For questions and concerns regarding home buying, sit down with a realtor in your area.