Looking to navigate the bumpy landscape of homeownership for the first time? Here’s what you need to know about walking the steps to buy a house while avoiding the pitfalls…
DO Save More Than You Need
It’s always better to have too much than not enough. That’s as true when it comes to saving up for a house as it is when ordering takeout. The more money you have saved, the more options you’ll have when looking at properties. Better, making a higher down payment will save you a lot of money on mortgage in the long run.
DON’T Overlook Hidden Costs
When purchasing a home, it’s easy to fixate on the down payment and mortgage costs to the point where you completely overlook some of the less obvious expenses that come with owning a home. These include closing costs, such as appraisal fees and lawyer commissions, as well as property taxes, utility bills, and insurance.
DO Improve Your Credit Score
Your credit ranking is more than just a number you never pay attention to. It actually plays a large role in determining what kind of mortgage loan you can receive, or if you can even get one at all. If you don’t know your score, request a report. This can help you find ways to improve your score, such as by correcting errors or by settling old debts.
DON’T Take the First Loan Offer
When applying for a mortgage, it’s easy to let your excitement get a hold of you. It’s important to keep a stoic poker face, though, and to not settle for the first offer you get. Comparison shopping with other lenders helps to ensure you get the best terms possible. Even better, letting lenders know they’re in competition might entice them to make even better offers.
DO Research the Neighborhood
Always look before you leap, as the old saying goes. When buying a house, that means knowing as much as you can about a neighbourhood before you commit to living there. Find out information like the proximity of grocery stores, the local economy and job market, crime rate statistics, and the quality of areas schools and hospitals.
DON’T Be Rigid in Your Demands
Everyone has a “house of their dreams.” There’s a big difference between what people demand in dreams, though, and what’s available in real life. While you shouldn’t settle for any house simply because it’s in your budget, you also shouldn’t be so rigid with your expectations that you turn down otherwise ideal houses just because they’re not “perfect.”