Buying a New Home? Here’s What To Think About First

Sarah PowellPosted by Sarah Powell on July 25, 2016

Buying a home is one of life’s most exciting events, and we’re always honored to be a part of it!

Whether it’s your first or fifth time buying a new home, it’s always rewarding to help navigate the process. Not only are you making a decision about where you’ll be living for the next chunk of time, you’re also likely to be spending quite a lot of money. Buying a house is both a financial journey and an emotional one. You’re going to face a lot of different decisions – here are a few tips.

LOOK TO THE FUTURE

When considering what type of home to buy, think about what your life will be like in five years. Are you going to have children? Will you need to care for elderly relatives in your home? Are you hoping to rent your house after fixing it up? Your future needs should influence today’s real estate decisions. Do some research about the neighborhoods that appeal to you and find out about things like the quality of schools and zoning regulations. First-time buyers need to be especially careful not to fall in love with a house that won’t suit their needs in just a few years. The life you have today might not be the one you live tomorrow!

TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT YOUR FINANCES

For most people, a house is the most expensive purchase of their lives. Deciding on your home isn’t just about choosing where you want to live, it’s also about knowing how much you are able to spend every month on housing. Not only will you be responsible for a mortgage, you also need to consider taxes, insurance, repairs, possible association fees, closing costs, and other expenses. First-time buyers may be used to rental fees—now there’s a lot more to think about! By drawing an accurate picture of your finances and gaining a precise understanding of how much you have to spend every month, you’re setting yourself up for financial success while preparing to buy a house. Start gathering your paperwork before you even start looking at homes to gain a clear understanding of your budget—you’ll need those papers when you visit the bank.

GET HELP FROM A LOCAL REAL ESTATE AGENT

Online sites such as Zillow can give you a good general sense of housing prices in your area, but you really need to talk to a local real estate agent to get a feel for what to expect. Housing prices can vary widely, even in the same town, and an agent can steer you toward the properties that fit your needs. Consider the wide varieties of neighborhoods in the Upper Valley and surrounding areas. Every town has different character, different opportunities, and different housing prices. By working with someone who knows the nuances of the different towns, you can find the best fit for your needs.

BONUS TIP: Don’t stop saving your money once you have your down payment. It’s a good idea to build up a safety net just in case you get any surprises in the first few years of home ownership.