Buying your first home in Washington per say, is an exciting time. From choosing the location to your ideal floor plan and interior design elements, a first-time homebuyer faces a lot of choices.
Although it might be tempting to jump right into the real estate market in Olympia and begin putting offers in, there are some things you need to consider. Save yourself some buyer’s remorse by following these five simple tips to help you secure the home of your dreams.
Figure Out How Much You Can Afford
When it comes to owning a home, the expenses don’t stop at the list price. From closing costs and property taxes to utilities and repairs, house costs can quickly add up to much more than just your mortgage payments. When calculating your homeowner costs, be sure to calculate all additional expenses, as well as keeping a little aside for extras. This can help you gain a clearer understanding of how affordable a home is. As a rule of thumb, you should aim to keep your housing costs equal to 30% or less of your yearly income.
First-Time Buyers Get Pre-Approved
Before you start viewing houses, it’s important to get your finances in order. Mortgage pre-approval is a vital step in the home buying process. A pre-approval will let you know exactly how much the bank is prepared to loan you. In addition, you’ll have an advantage over other buyers who are yet to start the process. If your offer is going up against another buyer, you must put your best foot forward. The seller is more likely to take yours seriously when already being pre-approved for your mortgage.
Don’t Use All Of Your Savings On Your Down Payment
Although it’s crucial to save as much for your downpayment as possible, that doesn’t mean leaving yourself without an emergency fund. The interest you may save over the long term is irrelevant should you suddenly need to repair a leaky roof. It’s essential to keep a reserve fund on hand for unexpected expenses — especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer.
Shop Your Lenders
Starting the preapproval process can be daunting, many buyers are tempted to go with the first bank that offers them a loan. Although this may seem easy, it’s important to shop lenders to find the best deal. Fees and rates can vary significantly between lenders, and some may offer better financial services. To get the best bang for your buck, shop a variety of lenders to find the right one for you.
Get A Thorough Home Inspection
In today’s seller’s market, there is stiff competition between buyers. This can cause buyers to overlook some crucial aspects of the sales process to secure their deal. The home inspection is not a part of the real estate process that a first-time homebuyer should ever neglect. Waiving your right to a home inspection may help you get the deal, but it also opens you up to a world of risk.
Purchasing a house in Seattle is likely the single most significant investment you’ll ever make, so it’s essential to go into it with as much information as possible. Once you close, you inherit and become responsible for all of the home’s issues. This could be something as small as a lightbulb not working or as significant as structural damage. For the sake of a few hundred dollars on a home inspection, you could potentially save yourself thousands of dollars in repairs. Being forewarned is forearmed, so be sure to gather as much information as you can about any potential properties.