Buying a home is usually the largest purchase a person will make in their lifetime, and along with that can come a lot of stress. There can be so many unknown factors and things to take into consideration, and when mistakes can cost thousands of dollars, you want to be sure to take the time to educate yourself as much as possible.
Before you dive into the homebuying process, consider these insider secrets:
1. There may be grants and special loans available to help you buy a home.
A lot of people think you have to have a 20% downpayment saved up to be able to even think about buying a home, but that’s not always the case. Depending on your situation, there may be special loans available, grants to help you with the down payment, programs offered by your employer and much more. Talking with your real estate agent and a knowledgeable lender (and doing some online research of your own) will show you some of the financing options that may be available. Be careful, though: Many real estate finance-related websites will ask you for personal information up front, and you never want to start signing up for things before you really know what you’re getting into.
2. There can be a lot of surprise costs included in buying and owning a home.
In addition to your down payment and closing costs due when you first buy your home, there can be some hidden costs on top of your monthly mortgage. How much are your property taxes? Do you have any HOA dues? What will utilities run you each month? Does your new home need any upfront maintenance or any ongoing maintenance or upgrades? Be sure to budget for all of these items — they can add up fast.
3. Location can have a huge impact on your life.
The location of your potential new home can count for more than you might initially imagine. First, there are the financial implications to consider: How easy will it be to resell your home in the future? What is the local real estate market like? How did the neighborhood do in the last economic crisis, and has it recovered?
Then, there are the more personal aspects of location to consider: How long does it actually take you to get to work? (It doesn’t hurt to try out your commute at the time of day you actually go to and from work. This can be a dealbreaker.) If you have kids in school, do you like the local schools? Have you visited them in person? Is living just a few minutes from family important to you? You might have found the perfect house but it complicates other areas of your life, it may not be the right fit. Take the time to really weigh your priorities and explore the neighborhood.
-Insider Secrets To Buying A Home