What are the most important things to do before buying a house? An excellent question is it not? knowing what to do before buying a house is critical.

Being informed is important when you are making big financial decisions, and there are few financial decisions bigger than buying a home. Take the time to educate yourself about what you are getting into before you commit to buying any property. The following tips are here to help you get started. You may well be familiar with some or all of them but it isn’t a bad idea to refresh your memory again before making that decision. These tips will put you in a position for not only a smooth transaction but a pleasant first time home ownership experience.

1. Know every expense.

There are a lot of fees that come with a home purchase above and beyond the initial cost. Insurance, repairs, agency fees, property taxes – you should have the income and the budget to handle all of these things if they are relevant to your purchase. Real Estate agents talk all the time about additional expenses to consider when buying a home. You should also have some savings to cover emergencies that may come with the home.

2. Know what you want.

What type of home do you want to buy? Do you want a flat or duplex? For many first time home buyers, this is one of the first dilemmas you will have to solve. In fact, many buyers will consider both because they can’t make up their minds. To make sound decisions, you should know the pros and cons of whatever type of home you want to live in. More buyers will end up disappointed when picking a flat, for instance, because they did not understand the ramifications of how restrictive they can be. The appeal, of course, is usually for those buyers who do not have time for home maintenance.

After the excitement of buying the home passes, you will have to live in it for years. Make sure you are shopping for a home that will meet your needs and your lifestyle. More space may not always be better. Lawns require upkeep. Being close to the things you like may wind up being more important than you realize. Understand you are not just buying a home but a location as well. One of the key considerations that many buyers miss when purchasing a home is knowing how to pick a neighborhood they will love. Often, first time buyers focus too much on the house and not enough on the neighborhood.

3. Work with a skilled Realtor that knows your area.

Every neighborhood has its unique qualities that you want to be aware of before you buy. An agent that is well-informed about the area will also know what the homes there are worth, which will in turn help you avoid overpaying for a property. You want a real estate agent who knows their stuff locally!

It is more advisable to choose a realtor that works full time in the business every day and has a recent history of successful sales. The better the real estate agent knows the area, the better equipped they will be in understanding the differences in market value from one property to the next.

4. Buy what you are comfortable paying for.

Most home buyers- especially first time home buyers- make the mistake of going for a home that is way beyond their financial capacity. While it isn’t a bad idea to “aim high,” a careful consideration of your financial capacity may well save you from stretching your finances too thin. You may be cleared for a loan that is far above what you are comfortable paying for, but it is safer to lean on the side of caution and mortgage only with as much money as you are comfortable with. There are a lot of home buyers who will mortgage themselves to the hilt only to find out later they are slaves to their homes. Unless you want to be eating indomie dinners at home every weekend don’t stretch beyond your means. It is very important!

5. Verify all information with regards to the property.

Does the home actually have all the features that was listed? You need to verify that all the information given about the home is accurate. Scheduling an inspection of the property before parting with your money is a good way to do this. Doing this not only reassures you that you have made the right property choice, it also gives you the opportunity to see what improvements you can make should you decide to go for it. Sometimes, some real estate agents put things in the listing that they may not have verified or may just not be aware of the facts. One of the more common issues that can crop up in a real estate transaction is understanding what stays with a home and what doesn’t. Many buyers, sellers, and even some real estate agents do not know what is considered a fixture and what is personal property.

6. Try to see yourself in the home.

Sometimes when you view a home, it will be filled to the brim with the current owner’s things. Learning to see past the clutter to the potential of the home for you may allow you to find better deals than you would otherwise. This is why real estate agents often recommend to seller clients to clear all the clutter before listing their home for sale. Cluttered homes can sell for less money when those with a lack of vision can’t see past it.

7. Look for any water-related problems.

It can be a heart-breaking moment when you realize that the roof in your kids’ room leaks! Or probably a water pipe has ruptured and water is being channeled to the wrong part of the house.  A home in good condition will keep water where it belongs. Water from around the home should not be making its way inside for any reason at all. Water flowing through the pipes should be staying in those pipes. Any precipitation that falls on and around the property, especially rainfall during the rainy season should be directed away from your foundation. Your roof should be functioning as intended. Buying somebody’s water issues is not what you want. Most modern day estate developers are conscious of this point today as this could affect the market value of the property. Notwithstanding, taking the time to ensure your new home is in perfect or near perfect condition is worth the sweat.

8. Know your plan for home fittings.

If you have home fittings you like, you naturally will want to bring it with you. Make sure your new home can accommodate them. Or, if you plan on buying new furniture, for instance, you may want purchase a home at a price that leaves you with enough left over to furnish it. Alternatively, you may save up some money separately for furniture. Most first time home buyers prefer to bring in new furniture which usually is an upgrade over the old ones they have.

Buying your dream home does not have to be a difficult affair. Taking careful steps and setting achievable goals towards buying the home are sure tiny steps that make up the success of your dreams.

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