Buying a home is both exhilarating and overwhelming. This is especially true for first-time homebuyers.
So where do you start?
Luckily, you’re in the right place. We’ve come up with a few crucial tips for you. The journey to buying your first house can be challenging, but this guide will help make the processes a whole lot easier.
Set A Realistic Budget and Stick to It
Before you start looking for a house, you must first ask yourself:
- Can I afford to buy a house now?
- What can I afford?
- What is my price range?
Firstly, take a look at your savings, your monthly expenses, and do the math. Another option is to use an online mortgage calculator. When setting your budget, you must not only consider the total mortgage but also the maintenance cost of the house.
You can also go to a trusted bank loan officer. They can help you set a budget. They’ll be able to advise how much financing you’ll receive from the bank. Remember, the figure they provide is not equal to how much you can afford to pay. It simply gives you an estimate of how much financing you’ll receive.
Once you’ve determined a budget, stick to it.
Determine What You Need and Want
The next tip for first-time homebuyers is to list down needs and wants. This should include the location, square footage, amenities, and more. In making this list, you’ll make it easier for your realtor to find the best home for you and your family.
Here are a few guidelines:
- Do you want to be near schools or supermarkets?
- Do you prefer homes that are away from the city proper?
- How many rooms do you need?
- Would you like to have a small or big kitchen?
It’s also a great idea to visit open houses where you wish to live. In doing so, you can evaluate what’s available in the real estate market. Once you’ve visited a few open houses, then take a look at your list again.
Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent
A good real estate professional can significantly improve your home buying journey. Real estate agents know the ins and outs of the process — buying, contracts, financing, etc. They are also very knowledgeable about the property and location where you want to live, for example in Davao City. Additionally, they can look for properties that best fit your criteria.
Don’t be afraid to ask your real estate agent all the questions that cross your mind. How far is the house to the nearest supermarket, malls, hospital, school? When was the house built? What is the average monthly utility expenses?
More importantly, real estate agents even have contacts for bank loan officers and attorneys. These people will guide you throughout the home buying process so it’s less stressful on your part.
Perform Due Diligence
Make the most of visiting open houses. Pay attention to the property’s overall condition. Does it need major or minor repairs? Are there stains or smells that need to be addressed?
Here’s a simple guideline when visiting open houses, you should ask questions:
- Check the safety and security of the neighborhood.
- Ask about natural hazards
- Is the neighborhood a flood-prone area?
It’s also a great idea to create a property inspection checklist. This will help you cover everything. If you’re viewing the house with other homebuyers, don’t hesitate to schedule a second viewing. In doing so, you can thoroughly inspect the property and raise your questions.
Buying a new house is exciting and the number of options in the market can be overwhelming. That said, take your time in considering all your choices. Don’t be afraid to ask your real estate agent and don’t hesitate to voice your concerns. Make sure that you are getting the best value for your investment.