Lots of solid information is available online that discusses items for first time home buyers such as choosing the right loan, working with a reputable lender, and arranging a proper budget. While those items are very important, there are some other items that don’t get the same publicity but deserve great attention.
It cannot be stressed enough: there is no such thing as a perfect home. One home that seems to have a great outside appearance may need significant work on the inside. Another home that is appealing both indoors and out could be located in a terrible neighborhood. Take some time to look over the home as closely as you can. Ask some friends or relatives to come by and inspect the place. If something looks wrong, consult with a professional inspector.
Don’t Sign Something that is Unclear
Most people that are buying a home for the first time are not aware that there are LOTS of forms to sign. This does not mean you should sit at the closing and closely read every single word. Many of these items are simply legal documents designed to protect the borrower. However, it also does not mean you should be confused about the process. During the closing process, ask the closing agent or your lender questions about the paperwork that you are signing to be sure you understand everything.
Allow for Improvements and Vacations
Very few people buy a home and leave everything as it sits for the duration of their home ownership. Most people like to add variety by changing out the carpet, adding fresh paint and updating the appliances and light fixtures. All of these things take money, whether they are done now or 5 years from now. Don’t pick a home that is at the edge of your affordability. Leave some room for making a few improvements as well as saving up for the occasional vacation.
Don’t Buy With Just Your Heart
It is true that most people will live in a home for a number of years. For this reason, they need to be quite happy with the major features of the property. However, falling in love with a property that is over an hour away from your job will make your commute quite tough, and add misery to your life. It is important to find a home that makes you happy and is practical for your situation.
Avoid Unpleasant Features
Just as some people fall in love with a home and buy it based on one or two features, some people loathe one or two features of an otherwise suitable place. It is a bad idea to try and put up with something that makes you unhappy for the sake of owning a home. For instance, some people despise yard work. Buying a lovely modern home, with modern appliances, and in a good area may sound great until you realize the yard is monstrous. All those hours spent mowing the lawn, trimming bushes, cleaning around walkways and other items may actually irritate some people to no end.
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Posted on January 31, 2013 at 12:16 pm by Michael Collins, CDPE, SFR