Buying a home is one of the most liberating feelings in life. It’s a step that you take when you want to gain independence, and it’s a huge financial leap that is unlike anything else you’ll experience in life. Not only does it offer you the freedom to basically do whatever you want, it’s also a fantastic way to start a family or even begin a new life. It goes without saying that buying your own home comes with a lot of challenges, but this article is here to ensure that you don’t make any mistakes when buying a home. Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or someone that’s moved around a lot in the past, here are some essential tips that you should follow in order to get a smooth transition to your own home.
Are you prepared to buy a home?
The first thing you should consider is if you’re actually ready to buy a home yet or not. Buying a house takes a considerable amount of effort, money and dedication. It’s a long-term investment that takes several decades to pay back at a standard rate, making it one of the most expensive things you’ll ever purchase in your life. This means there’s no turning back once you invest, and it’s important to prepare yourself mentally and physically for the stress involved in paying back a mortgage and moving to a new location.
There are some other considerations to keep in mind before you buy a home as well. For starters, you need to consider your financial situation. It’s almost impossible to purchase a home if you don’t have a good credit history, and it’s even more difficult without a stable source of income. If you’re self-employed, then you might find it difficult to get the trust of lenders even with a good credit rating, which is why there are mortgage services for small business owners and beyond. Assuming you have a good history of trading or running your business that generates money, you’ll be able to apply for a mortgage much like anyone else with a regular paying job.
You also need to think about your future. For instance, if you plan to have a family at some point with your partner then you need to be prepared with a big enough home. If you currently live with your partner, then staying in a studio or single-bedroom apartment makes sense and is doable. However, as soon as you conceive a child or they grow old enough to need their own room, you’d better have an extra bedroom prepared and a larger home for them to grow up in. It’s even more important if you plan to have more than a single child, so don’t take too long deciding how many children you want and plan ahead by moving into a larger home.
Set a budget and stick to it
When you look at properties for sale, you’ll notice that prices can vary drastically depending on location, local amenities and the property itself. If you want to get the most out of your property, then you need to stick to a budget. Set yourself a deposit limit and use a calculator to work out how much money you’d have to pay back each month on your mortgage. The best way to calculate a budget is to just take a look at how much money you have saved and how much money you can put towards a home in the future. After all your expenses are paid and necessary living items are purchased, the rest can be used on luxuries and a mortgage.
Don’t forget that there are some hidden costs involved when buying a home. For instance, there are plenty of extra charges bolted on when surveys of the property are taken, and although the papers themselves can sometimes seem completely useless, they’re essential for cutting down on renovation and repair costs on the property after you’ve bought it. You might also need to pay a mortgage arrangement fee, and this can range from a percentage of the mortgage to a large static sum of money. Some lenders will charge you this fee up front, but others will add it into the mortgage itself. There are also times when you need to pay estate agent fees, so keep this in mind before purchasing a property.
In short, the value of the home you can afford is often a bit less than your actual savings and what you can afford financially. This makes it especially important to calculate a rough average of how much you have to spend on admin fees and hidden costs instead of the home itself. Just don’t forget that if you currently own a home, it can sell for a lot and add a nice chunk of money to your name that can be used to purchase a new home. The amount you set your budget to will also depend on how close you want to live on the line. Some prefer to be able to afford luxuries and have a bit of safety while they pay their mortgage back, while others are content with living frugally in order to afford a more expensive home.
Pick a location you want to live in
Since buying a home is such an expensive investment, it’s important to pick a location that is meaningful and productive for your needs. For starters, base the location of your new home on the reason for you moving. For example, if you’re moving home because you want to provide a better future for your children, then try to move to a location that provides fantastic local schools and amenities in addition to a friendly neighbourhood. It’s a lot of criteria, but it’s important to be picky because it’s an investment that will take decades to pay off. If you’re going to live in an area for all those years, then it’d better be a place worth calling home.
It’s important to do ample amounts of research on this step because if you don’t, then you’re going to regret moving into a neighbourhood that you don’t actually enjoy. Make sure you look up on the internet and explore the neighbourhood in your spare time. If possible, get to know your potential neighbours and speak with them about moving in. They’ll either be very welcoming, not care at all or even try to convince you not to move in. Listen to their stories and consider the local cities and towns as well. If you want to move to a big city, then keep in mind that the costs are going to be extremely high despite it being convenient to get around. You’ll also need to worry about your children getting lost if they travel to school alone, but it also means you won’t need to buy a car.
There are plenty of ups and downs to living in various locations around the world, and the idea is to do lots of research and make a decision on your own. It all depends on your personal preferences, and there’s no dream house that fits everyone. Set your own criteria and stick with it so that you can find a home that is as close to perfect as possible. It’s probably not going to be easy to find it, but since it’s such an important decision in your life, it’s best to spend as much time as possible before ultimately settling on a home and investing a lot of money towards it.