Published On: Wed, Oct 11th, 2017

The Complete Guide to Buying Your First Home

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There is no greater feeling than being handed the keys to your first home. It will have taken a great deal of time, effort, and perseverance to step onto the property ladder, but your new home will make it all worthwhile. To ensure you have a smooth experience, we’re offering some helpful advice for buying your first home.

Start Saving

Do you want to flee the family home in a couple of years’ time? Maybe you finally want to say goodbye to a rental lease? Well, the sooner you start saving, the easier it will be to afford a down payment, and the sooner you will have those all-important keys in your hand. In most cases, you will be required to save 20% of the property’s value as a down payment. So, unless you have a considerable amount of savings in the bank, it’s time to stash some money aside each month to add into your new home fund.

Don’t Rush into Buying

You might be so tempted to leave your current home that you’ll buy any property. Yet, only fools rush in. Slow down and carefully review each property and neighborhood to ensure you are 100% confident in your decision. After all, you will be living in the home for many years to come – or you might even want to purchase a property to settle down in. Also, consider your future needs. For example, do you and your partner want to welcome a child into the world? If so, you might need an extra bedroom.

Find the Right Mortgage for Your Needs

It’s vital to select a mortgage based on your current financial situation, so you can afford the monthly payments. In fact, reducing a mortgage by half a percentage point could result in your saving thousands of dollars. For example, you could choose a fixed rate mortgage to avoid rising interest rates, while those new to the property market could select a first-time buyer or HomeHelper mortgage. To learn more about the different mortgage types, visit https://www.spencersavings.com/loans/mortgages/.

Create an Emergency Fund

Many first-time buyers are shocked to discover many financial extras they need to add into their monthly budget, such as expensive utility bills, repair fees or home insurance. All those extra bills can suddenly eat away at a homeowner’s finances. We therefore recommend you create an emergency fund before you move into a property. This will provide you with a rainy-day fund to dip into for an unexpected bill, so you can reduce the stress of running a new home.

Perform Your Own Home Inspection

Many homeowners can often follow an inspector across a property to perform a home inspection. While you should ask him or her questions as many questions as possible regarding the property, you should also perform your own home inspection so you’re 100% confident that the home is fault-free before you make a purchase. Otherwise, you might discover various problems with your new property once you’ve received the keys, such as water damage or a poor-performing hot water heater.

Get a Second Opinion

Once you’ve fallen in love with a property or neighborhood, you might be more likely to overlook some of the building’s biggest faults. Unfortunately, the rose-colored spectacles can result in you making a big financial mistake and left living in a home that is in desperate need of love and attention. We therefore recommend bringing a family member or friend along with you to receive a second opinion. As they won’t be living in the property, they may see problems you cannot.

Browse the Market for the Best Homeowner’s Insurance

Homeowner’s insurance is essential when buying a new property. Yet, don’t make the mistake of believing all policies are the same, because they aren’t. Browse the market to make an informed choice, as some insurers will allow you to bundle multiple policies into one, such as combining homeowner’s insurance with auto insurance.

Also, don’t be tempted to pick the cheapest policy you could find, as you will want a policy to pay out if you ever need it. You must therefore consider each policy’s features, coverage options and pricing before you make a commitment. You will be glad you did if you ever need to file a claim.

Consider the Neighborhood

We cannot stress enough about the importance of buying the right property in the right neighborhood. While you can always change the aesthetics of your home, you cannot change the area. You must therefore be able to imagine daily life in the neighborhood for many years to come.

For example, if you have children (or plan to), you should consider the vicinity of local schools to your home, and whether you want your child to receive an education in these establishments. Also, is the property close to public transport, are your neighbors’ friendly, and does the area have a low crime rate? Research and explore the neighborhood before you make an offer.

Don’t Rush into Furniture Shopping

The furniture you choose will make a house a home, which is why you should choose carefully. Don’t rush into buying furniture the first week you move in. Take your time to understand your home’s sense of space before you commit to a new sofa, dining table or coffee table. It will also allow you to paint and wallpaper your interior without damaging your furniture.

Plan the Move

Few things are more stressful and exciting than moving in day. Make the experience as enjoyable as possible by planning the process in advance. For instance, pack up your boxes by rooms, so movers can simply place them in the right rooms inside your new home, which will enhance your organization. You should also aim to identify the most affordable and reputable movers in advance, so you can save money that can be used towards the home. If a friend or family member owns a van, you could even ask for their assistance when the time comes to move into your first property.