As soon as you begin the homebuying process, you can expect unsolicited advice from just about everyone you know. As well-intentioned as their advice may be, remember that what may have been true in the past may not be so in the changing market today.
If you're interested in learning more about the home buying process, please consider attending our First Time Home Buyers series where we discuss more in-depth the steps to owning your own home.
First things first, you'll want to consider your price range. Decide what you can comfortably afford monthly but also take into consideration unforeseen issues like repairs and emergencies. Water heaters don't last forever!
Think long term and resale. Are you considering kids? You might only live there a few years so who is your target buyer? Will you need to take care of an elderly relative and need additional space? Think of everything!
What will your expenses be? When planning expenses for the house, don't stop with the principal, interest and taxes or insurance. Add in utilities, cost of your commute and any upgrades you might want. Call the utility companies that service the house and get estimates of what costs will be.
Is your long term plan to rent the house? Try to look at a HOA Agreement before making any final decisions. Some HOA associations will prevent a home from being rented. That might change your plans.
Read your contract. Your home is the biggest investment you'll make in your lifetime. Be sure you understand your contract and if you don't ask your agent. That's what they are there for! If they can't explain terms to you well enough, fire them. There are more than enough agents who will work for you.
Use your head. Don't be afraid to walk away from a bad deal. If it doesn't feel right, it's probably not. There will always be better properties, and maybe the perfect one. Don't buy the view. You never know which retail center or housing project is going to break land in the field in your backyard. It could be next year or next decade but unless you buy the land between your house and the view, don't buy it only for the view.
There are so many more things to consider when starting the buying process but these are a few of our musts! Plan on attending one of our First Time Home Buyers located at our offices in Indianapolis, IN coming up to learn more.