Top 3 Tips For First-Time Home Buyers

If you are a first-time home buyer looking to purchase property, you are probably feeling overwhelmed. There are a million things to consider when making this decision. Here are a few helpful tips for you to consider and utilize before you make your big purchase.

Tip #1: Hire a real estate agent.
Would you give yourself open heart surgery if you needed it? Would you let your cousin with no legal training represent you in court? These propositions sound ridiculous. There are some situations in life in which it is best to ask a professional for help. Buying a home is certainly one of those circumstances.
A real estate agent is there to help you find your dream home. You give them your requirements and your price point, and they do all the heavy-duty searching so you don’t have to. When you do find the house that you love, the agent helps you negotiate the price.
Ask friends, family, and coworkers for recommendations of a good real estate agent, and do some research beforehand. Using a real estate agent takes a lot of stress out of the home buying process.

Tip #2: Stay within your means.

The cost of the home will obviously be a big factor when narrowing down your options. The first question you should ask yourself is: Can you afford it?
You may be attracted to a house that has lots of extras, which increase the price. Remember, however, that you have your whole life to make improvements to your new home. It’s more important to ensure that you don’t feel stressed out every month trying to make loan payments on a house you can barely afford.
As a rough guide, authorities suggest that your mortgage payment should not be more than 33% of your income. Remember that you will want to put away part of your salary for savings in case you lose your job, an emergency situation comes up, or to make those desired improvements later on down the road.

Tip #3: Make a list of neighborhood requirements.

One of the first steps to take when looking for a home is to scout neighborhoods that you would like to live in. If you have children, you should consider all the schooling options available. If they are young, you will want to research schools they will be attending throughout their lives if you plan to stay in the neighborhood for a long period of time.
Consider all of the activities that you normally partake in. Do you visit a special type of market regularly? Maybe being near public transport, such as a train station, is important. Would you prefer to be within walking distance of a park or area for your children to spend time? All of these are factors to consider.
Make a list of all the things your dream neighborhood would possess and then look into real estate in neighborhoods that have all of these qualities. Once you do select a few desirable neighborhoods, go and talk to the neighbors. Remember that you will be living near these people for a very long time, and it’s a great idea to get a feel for the type of people that occupy the neighborhood and to ask for their insight.

Jasmine Stephenson is a blogger for An Apple A Day and a writer specializing in sonography schools for Guide to Healthcare Schools.