Buying your first home is so exciting! Yet it can be very scary, too. After all, this is not only a home you're buying, but your biggest investment as well. You will need to do your "homework" to make sure that your new purchase will be home sweet home for you for years to come.
Set a realistic financial budget for buying your new home.
The one good thing to come from the Recession and the housing and banking crisis, is that the banks are not lending money as fast and loose as in the past. But you still need to sit down and work out an attainable budget.
Do you have hobbies or do you travel often? Then make sure to keep these expenses in your budget.
Make sure to call insurance companies and get the rates of insurance that you will pay on your new home. Also call the city halls of the towns that you are interested in and getting the tax rate on a new home purchase. Also consider utilities and home maintenance in your new budget.
Location. Location. Location.
Where do you want to live? Where can you afford to live? Is it important to live in a good school district? How far are you willing to commute to work? What kind of city services do you want? Do you want to be able to walk to stores and parks? How close do you want to live to your relatives?
Be realistic about how long you are willing to spend commuting each day to work...and don't forget gas prices may rise again. If you love walking to the library or restaurants, think long and hard about moving to a rural area, where you will have to drive to every place you need to go. And what if your vehicle is out of service? Can you afford to rent a car or be without a car for a week or more?
Do you have children? Then you need to research the school districts of the areas that you are interested in. What are the class sizes? Test scores? Are there busses or do the students walk to school? Are there alot of parks in the town? Are there recreation programs after school or in the summer? Are there sidewalks?
And make sure to talk to your friends, coworkers and family. They will probably offer the best advice on where to look (or not look) for a home.
What kind of home do you want?
Do you want to live in a condo, a single family home or a duplex? Do you like the idea of having your own yard and space...and the maintenance that comes with it? Or would you rather live in a condo where all of the maintenance is done for you? Or how about being a Landlord and buying a duplex, living in one half and renting the other half out?
Do you want one story ranch? A colonial? Multilevel? Do you need a basement, a big garage, a fence? Make a list of must-haves and wants...then make sure you get all of your must-haves and at least some of your wants. Stick to getting your list and you will be much happier down the line with your home purchase.
Buying your first home is exciting, but just make sure to take your time and choose wisely.
If you are a member of a warehouse club, make sure to see if they offer discounted homeowner's insurance rates to their members