5 Top Tips for First-Time Homebuyers
Making the switch from "renter" to homeowner is a big transition.
Not only will you have more freedom when you’re living in your own property, but you’ll also be taking your pace on the property ladder with a useful investment that will benefit you for years to come. Of course, as exciting as home ownership can be, it’s also something that requires careful consideration and planning.
1. Know What You Can Afford
Before you begin working with real estate agents to find the property of your dreams, it’s important to figure out how much you can afford to spend on a house. Your budget is defined by two primary things: the amount you can reasonably pay each month on your mortgage, and the bulk deposit that you can afford to place on your house.
Most people will put a deposit on their house, so it’s worth saving up early if you want plenty of real estate options to choose from. Knowing what you can afford to buy early will help to prevent you from falling in love with a house that you can’t realistically buy.
2. Do Your Homework
Once you’ve decided on your budget, you’re ready to start exploring the potential property in your area. There are many different things that you’ll need to consider during this research stage, including which kind of neighborhood you want to live in. Consider working with your real estate agent to find something that matches your budget and has the potential to pay off as a significant long-term investment.
Your real estate professional will be able to tell you how the prices of certain properties have changed over the years, so you can ensure that you’re setting yourself up for a good deal when you decide to sell.
3. Make The Most of Viewings
You should never put an offer on a home-based entirely on the pictures that you see online. It’s always a good idea to make the time to visit the property in person and evaluate it for any signs of damage that you might need to deal with before you move in. Some things, like the wrong color paint on your walls, can be dealt with quickly. Other issues, like a roof needing to be replaced, might tell you that it’s time to set your sights elsewhere.
Make the most of your property viewings by taking your own pictures, trying every switch, and spending as much time as you need asking questions of the property owner. You can even schedule follow-up viewings if you need to.
4. Know the Neighborhood
There are few things more important than “location” when it comes to choosing your new home. While you might have had to make do with terrible neighbors while you were renting, now is your chance is to find a community that you can’t wait to be a part of.
Research the Chicago neighborhoods that appeal to you, and find out which of them are affordable, close enough to work to make commuting easier, and packed with additional amenities that might come in handy in the future. It’s worth visiting these neighborhoods at different times of day to see what they’re like in person.
5. Remember the Additional Expenses
Finally, remember that there are additional expenses associated with moving into a new house that you’ll need to consider when planning your budget. For instance, it pays to have the help of a professional Chicago-based moving company to help you get your belongings from point A to point B. You may also need to put some extra money aside for things like legal fees, and decoration when you first move into your new home. Good luck, and enjoy your move!