The purchase of your first home doesn’t have to be an unpleasant experience. If you take the time to set long term goals, evaluate your budget, and weigh out your options, the outcome can really pay off. Minding these tips before purchasing your first home will make becoming a homeowner the exciting adventure that the investment should be.

The purchase of your first home can easily be a pleasant experience. If you take the time to set long term goals, evaluate your budget, and weigh out your options, the outcome can really pay off. The following tips reveals how easy it is to become a homeowner for the first time and to make your first venture into real estate investment a fun and rewarding one.

Clearly Define Your Budgecost-1174923_1920

Consider all expenses to create a realistic budget. Principal, interest, taxes, insurance, and utilities are only surface costs.  Don’t forget to include the possibilities of upgrades, commuting prices, and unforeseen obstacles. Having a little wiggle room could potentially cover these expenses. If you can budget in all of these expenses, you can still afford the house.

Address Your Needs

Gather your thoughts and make a wish list. Once you’ve compiled a full list, divide it into three categories: must-have, nice to have, and don’t need. Print copies of the checklist and bring it along every time you visit a house. While visiting these homes take photographs and continue to cross items of the checklist.

Check Out the Homeowner’s Association Contract

Before making any decision review the homeowner’s association (HOA) contract. If you’re planning to buy a home, you need to know what the homeowner’s association fees include. You also need to take a close look at the common responsibilities, architectural guidelines, resident behavior, covenants, and restrictions. Overlooking any rules could cost you a hefty fine.

Research your Neighborhood

Learning about your neighborhood demographics can give you an idea of what you’re getting yourself into. Is the neighborhood full of families or single people? Are your neighbors getting out to enjoy the neighborhood or staying indoors?

Read Your Contract Before Signing It

luxury-home-389263_1280Understanding the terms of your contract is vital. Your mortgage broker or real estate agent should be able to clear up questions for you. If they can’t explain the terms clearly to you then you need to look for someone that can.

Save for a Down Payment of 20%

Have enough saved up for a down payment of 20%. This allows you to avoid private mortgage insurance. This is extra insurance that is required for homeowners who obtain loans with a down payment less than 20% of the sales price.

Look Beyond the Staging

Try and look beyond the staging to focus on the layout and structure of the home. At times staging can be used to mask other problems, such as stains, cracks, or structural damage.

Think Long Term for Resale Purposes

In recent years, most first-time buyers spend five years or fewer in their first home. Write down your long term goals before purchasing a home. Are you planning on having children? Is your plan to retire in this home? Will you be taking care of elderly relatives? If you’re planning on living in your first home for only a few years, who’s your target audience when you want to sell your home? If you end up purchasing a family-size home and live in a less than desirable school district or happen to live near a busy intersection/street, most families with children won’t be included in terms of potential buyers, so consider resale in your investment decision.

If you’re searching for the perfect first property in the South Walton area, check out the track record of Melissa Clements. If you’re looking for a devoted realtor who knows the market and can give first-time buyers the home buying experience they deserve, then contact Melissa today; let her help you find the perfect first property for you.