Buying your first home is a big and exciting step in life. Many people struggle to know when it is the right time to buy their first home. ‘The right time’ for every individual is different. It depends on various situational, emotional and financial considerations. Essentially it will come down to a personal feeling of wanting to invest in something for the future. Once you are ready there are five questions you must ask yourself to ensure you are ready to begin you house search:
1. Do you have savings and secure employment?
Without a substantial deposit and secure employment you are in no position to qualify for or pay off a mortgage. While you may have managed to put away the money for a deposit, without a secure job you have no way of knowing if you will be able to make the payments in the future. You may feel like it is time to buy a home but it is time to start the processes of putting your pennies away and looking for a long term job.
2. Have you done your research? There are lots of things you need to know before you rush in and commit to purchasing a home. It pays to do some research before you lock yourself into anything. The first thing you need to check is are there any reasons you may be prohibited from owning a home in your chosen location. Some countries require non-citizens to apply for license before purchasing property, some countries do not allow women to own property. Do your research before signing anything. You need to fully understand the costs associated with home ownership, other wise you have no way of budgeting. Have you looked into the rate payments, taxes, tax breaks, and inspection costs for your area? Different cities, states and countries have different associated costs tired to owning a home. Have you looked into the housing prices in your area compared to other areas of your city? While you might have your heart set on living in the inner city there may be bargains to be found by expanding your search.
3. Have you been pre-approved for a loan?
You have no business looking at homes if you have not been pre-approved for a mortgage. You need to know what you can afford to fall in love with, there is no point finding the perfect home and then finding out it is outside of your reach. Check with a number of lenders and find the best rate. Once you have approval for a mortgage which you can comfortably pay then you can set the criteria for a home search. Looking at homes before you know what you can afford only leads to heartache.
4. Do you know what you are looking for?
Now that you know what you can spend you need to set your search terms. Are you looking for a studio, an apartment, a townhouse or a house? How many rooms do you need? Do you have preferences for style? Is the property an investment or a family home? It is best to have some firm ideas before you meet with an agent. You need to buy a house that ticks all your boxes, you can’t do that without first working out what your boxes are.
5. Have you got a good agent?
It is important to find a good agent. A good agent is one who listens to all you needs and shows listing which meets your criteria, not just the properties they are looking to shift. You should meet with a number of agents before selecting and you may wish to work with multiple agents to ensure you see the best properties is your areas and price range.
Author bio: Sharon Freeman is a freelance author who writes about Real Estate and Property tips for her local Sydney market. Find Sharon on Facebook.