Everyone is a first time home buyer at some point in their lives. Whether you’re shopping for a condo or a single-family home, it’s important to identify what you want out of a home and then figure out what you can pay for it. Here are some tips for any first time home buyers looking for guidance.
Type of Home
There are a few choices as to the type of home you want. The most common is a single-family home, but it is also the most expensive in most cases. While you’ll find plenty of land, you’ll also pay taxes on that land and the home that’s built upon it. Townhomes and condos are your next best choice, but they carry fees from the home owner’s association. Unlike a single-family home, these HOA fees cover some of the potential problems that can creep up in the building, like roof repair.
There are also turn-key properties, where you literally turn the key and move in, or fixer-uppers. These properties require some work (and money) to get them where you want them, but you’ll often pay less up front to get one.
Look at the specific features you want in a home to help make your decision. For instance, solar power is really popular now. You can easily find homes on the market that have solar pre-installed, or find homes that get a lot of sunlight. You may also want a pool. Flexibility is a good thing, but you should zero in on those qualities that you can’t live without. Lots of people find those qualities usually in the kitchen or the back yard, but yours may differ.
Before you do any serious shopping, you should get pre-qualification for a particular loan. What you think you can afford and what the lender thinks are two different figures. Their figures are based on your job history, your salary, your credit score, revolving debt and other factors. It’s a long process to obtain a loan for a home, but the payoff is that you know for sure what you’re authorized to buy. Also, having pre-qualification gives you more buying power over those who do not have it.
Once you’ve got lender approval for a certain dollar amount, it’s time to run your own numbers to see what works for you. Look at more than just your rent and credit cards, organizing all of your payouts into a spreadsheet. One strategy is to take all your monthly bills and add them together, then subtract that number from the amount you save each month. If you’re shopping for a home, it’s a good idea to begin paying your mortgage now into a savings account.
Bio: Kuba Jewgieniew manages the Realty ONE Group of Nevada, a full service real estate brokerage firm with 5,000 agents spread across 50 offices. To sell your home in Nevada, contact Realty ONE Group.