Your first-time home buying experience is no small thing.
Owning a home is a big commitment. The purchase you make may well be the only one. It’s essential that you invest your time, as much as your money, to ensure that you select the right home for you and your family.
Being a homeowner is also a lot of work. If you’re moving from a rental property to home ownership, you are in for a surprise. The number of time-consuming tasks grows and grows, eating away at your free time. Just when you think things are sorted, along comes another dozen of unexpected problems.
That said, first-time home ownership is a great and exciting life experience.
Is it the right time?
Many people buy properties at the wrong time.
Some people decide to buy their home because friends are doing it. It almost becomes a form of peer pressure. You shouldn’t buy a home if it’s not the right time for you and your finances.
Just because friends and family decry the fact you’re paying rent does not mean that you should sacrifice your finances for a home you don’t really want. You should always ask yourself whether it is the right time for you, not for anyone else.
Can you afford it?
Home ownership is expensive.
You must work out whether you can afford it. You should also factor in additional expenses, such as home insurance or any furniture / features / decoration you may need.
To purchase your first-time home, you should have a steady job with a good income. You should have a clean credit score and an ability to responsibly navigate your finances to ensure that you are never left in a vulnerable position.
Do your research
We can’t emphasise this enough.
Doing your research doesn’t just mean learning how many bedrooms and bathrooms a home has. It also means exploring the average monthly / maintenance costs of the property (think about getting a home inspection). It means learning about the area and its amenities, such as schools and stores and healthcare facilities; as well as what plans are expected for the area in the years ahead.
You should also think about your own circumstances.
Are you planning to have a family? Do you wish to extend your property? Are you aware of what restrictions might be in place with what you can / cannot do with that property? Is the property value for money compared to similar properties in the area, or versus other properties in neighboring localities.
The more research you do, the better. Remember, buying your first-time home is often the largest purchase you will ever make. It’s vital that you invest the necessary time to ensure that the property you choose is the very best for you – not just for now, but for the future.
Learn to negotiate
Don’t be afraid to negotiate.
If you know that a property has been on sale for a long period of time, it’s likely that the owner may be more desperate for that sale. Use this type of leverage to your advantage by negotiating a realistic and respectful discount.
During any form of negotiation, it’s crucial that you don’t reveal any weaknesses on your part. For example, if the seller is aware that it’s you who is desperate to buy the property, the seller now has no reason to negotiate a discount. They are aware that you are more than likely happy to pay the stated price.
Keep your cards close to your chest and negotiate from a position of strength. You may be surprised how much you can shave off the cost of that property.
Hire a Real Estate Agent
If this sounds like too much work, perhaps because you have a busy life with work and family, you should think about hiring a real estate agent.
A qualified agent can prove invaluable. Agents understand the market and what the optimum price you should pay for any property. They can, with your specifications and list of desired features, find a great range of properties well within your stated budget.
Real estate agents can also save you time in research by informing you of each neighborhood, its amenities and any prospective future planning.
Real estate agents can also negotiate on your behalf, trimming the price of your next dream home. For a small fee, hiring a real estate expert can prove to be one of your best decisions in your first-time home buying experience.
Triumph is the leader in Las Vegas property management. Return to our real estate blog soon for more great articles on how to navigate your way through the home buying experience.