I recently received a series of very excited reader questions about buying a house. One of my friends and her husband decided that it was time for them to seriously search for a home to own.
They will both be first-time homeowners, and she came to me (and the blog!) for some insight. If you’re a regular reader, you know that Ben and I went through the same process a few months ago, so I have several posts that will help with the anxiety of making such a big purchase for the first time.
I put together a quick reference guide so first-time home buyers can find all of the info they need in one place. Here is what you need to know:
- At the outset, you should figure out whether you are better off renting or owning in your situation.
- If you’ve determined that you want to own, you have to get your priorities in line: understand what you can afford, get pre-approval, and then look for a place.
- It will also benefit you to shore up your credit as much as you can, so you can get the best interest rates out there.
- Once you find a place, putting an offer in and getting it accepted are just the tip of the iceberg. You will have to jump through several hoops in order to close the deal.
- When you’re securing financing, again make sure you have the proper budget in mind and you understand how different circumstances can affect your interest rate.
- After you close, don’t forget about the extra costs that come with moving into a new place and how possible improvements will affect your taxes.
- Lastly, once you’re in your place, revisit your budget to take into account all the new expenses you may not have anticipated.
Those are the fundamentals. I have plenty of more posts regarding home owning so make sure to check out those posts as well in the archive. (Also tagged “real estate”.)