Finding yourself in the position where you believe you are ready to make the jump into home ownership is an exciting position, but one that should not be taken lightly.
Owning a home is more than just having property, rather it is a major responsibility that requires care over time. To that end, living in a home that you love, rather than hate, should always be the goal.
Despite this, many people find themselves settling rather than pursuing the home of their dreams. Use the following outlined tips to help narrow down what exactly you are looking for in your dream home.
How Expensive is a Home?
Home prices have steadily been rising over the years since the housing market crash of 2008 within the United States, and current values in some states are higher than ever.
For example, the real estate market in Boston, Massachusetts, one of the biggest in the country, has seen a boom like never before. In fact, the average median sales price of a home in Boston was just shy of $800,000, which is a 1.5% increase from the prior year this statistic was measured.
Other states have average prices of around $1,000,000, whereas the national average hovers closer to $500,000. Given the high price associated with buying a home, the most important tip all new home buyers need to remember is to save up enough money for a down payment to lower the amount they need to borrow for their mortgage.
How Long Does it Take to Buy a Home?
Many new homebuyers go into the process expecting it to be completely resolved in as little as a couple months. While it would certainly be nice to be able to move into a new home just a couple months after looking, the truth is a little less ideal.
It takes the average person around six to twelve months to finalize a home purchase, which includes the time from serious savings towards a down payment to when the home is closed upon.
6 Key Tips for Buying Your First Home
Given all of the above, it’s important to remember a number of tips which can help any first-time homebuyer navigate the stresses of the process:
1. Start saving well in advance of looking for a home
While it should go without saying, the high price associated with home ownership means that a person needs to start saving months, if not years, in advance in order to meet their down payment. This will take a greater load off of a person’s mortgage, which makes the cost of home ownership cheaper in the long run.
2. Be certain you are ready to commit to a loan
A mortgage is the largest loan the average person will end up taking out throughout their life, which means it needs to be treated carefully.
Consider whether you are ready to borrow hundreds of thousands of dollars for your mortgage and whether you can afford the payments that come with it.
3. List your must-haves and your nice-to-haves
When looking for your dream home, there will be must-have and nice-to-have items that come up during your search. Categorize these so that you can focus first on the homes that have all of your must-have’s before moving onto the options that also have the extra bells and whistles.
4. Consider your current and future needs
For those who are on the younger side, it’s entirely possible that starting a family may be something on the horizon. Consider whether the home you are looking at is suitable for this goal or if you should consider looking somewhere bigger.
5. Focus on the location of the home
The location of a home can make or break the property itself, especially to those who are on the younger side. Think about the distance of the home to frequented locations, such as grocery stores or entertainment centers, to determine whether the home is in an ideal location or not.
6. Purchase your dream home today
While the home of your dreams may not be the same for somebody else, so long as it makes you happy then it is perfect. However, it’s important to remember that your budget should be the guiding factor to finding a home that you love.
Should you see a home that has everything you’re looking for, yet it’s out of your price range, it’s best not to send yourself into debt over it. Rather take the time to save up until you can find an equally nice home that you can actually afford.