Purchasing Your First Home: 5 Tips for First-Time Buyers

Buying your first home can often be both a daunting and exciting experience. While it’s likely that you’re thrilled about the concept of starting a life inside of your own property, and getting your foot on the real-estate ladder, there are plenty of hurdles and problems that you’ll need to avoid if you want to make sure that you get the best results out of one of life’s most important purchases.

To help you make sure that you don’t make any potentially dangerous decisions when it comes to buying the perfect home, we’ve put together five essential tips for all first-time buyers to keep in mind. Let’s get started.

1. Create a Budget and Stick to It

Before you even begin looking for the perfect home, you should make sure that you have your budget in mind. The last thing you want is to find the home of your dreams just to discover that you can’t really afford it. Think about what your ideal price range might be, and consider using an online mortgage calculator if you’re not sure, to help you discover the perfect monthly payment amount.

Remember, you won’t just have to pay your mortgage prices either, you’ll also need to think about costs like electricity, gas, insurance, and other essentials that make up your monthly budget. Once you’ve got a solid idea of how much you can afford, make sure you stick to your budget. It’s no good applying for a home that you’re going to have to sell in a few months because you can’t afford to keep living there.

2. Know What You Won’t Negotiate On

Before you begin to shop seriously for the perfect property, think carefully about your values and your lifestyle. What kind of features are going to be best to support your wellbeing, and what can’t you even imagine living without? From that point, you can make your list of non-negotiables on everything from square-footage to the amenities you don’t want to do without.

It’s tough to find everything in one property, but if you know what you really can’t compromise on, then you can simply tick properties off your list much faster. Just remember to reevaluate your list as you begin to get a better sense of what’s available on the market, and what you really want.

3. Work with an Expert

Ultimately, you’re going to need some help if you want to get the most out of your home buying experience. Your realtor is essential to finding the perfect property, and it’s important to make sure that you choose someone who really knows the area. If you’re not sure which realtor to go with, you can always try asking for advice and referrals from friends and family.

An experienced realtor or mortgage broker could even help you to get better deals when you do decide to apply for your home loan. Think about whether you could benefit from getting the assistance of an expert to help you through your purchasing process.

4. Think About Additional Debts

Remember, when you’re applying for a mortgage, your lenders are going to be looking for signs that you know how to pay off your debts as quickly and effectively as possible. You want to try and present yourself as a responsible and reliable borrower. Unfortunately, if you have different loans and debts all over the place, then you might end up damaging your credit history, and reduce your chances of getting a good deal on your home loan.

One good way to improve your circumstances, and potentially give your life the level of organization it needs, is to use a consolidation loan to put all of your financial worries into one single place. Consolidating your loans can improve your credit rating, provided that you pay the amount you owe each month on time.

5. Don’t Rush the Process

Finally, as exciting as it can be to finally get your hands on your very own property, it’s important not to rush through the process, as this could prompt you to make some poor decisions. Instead, you’ll need to take your time and evaluate each of the properties you see as carefully as possible. Look for cracks in the walls, check for the smell of damp, and any signs that you might need to make some expensive changes before you can move in.

Remember, you can always ask plenty of questions during the viewing too, such as whether there’s been any major extensions or renovations to the property. Your agent will need to answer anything you ask truthfully.

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Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk. Emu is a broker, not a lender, and does not make credit decisions.