Table of Contents
Latest posts by Gea Elika (see all)
- The Costs Per Square Foot of Renovating in NYC - April 17, 2018
- What is an Exclusive Listing Agreement when Selling Real Estate? - April 7, 2018
- Making Sense of (FAR) Floor Area Ratio in NYC - March 31, 2018
Buying your first house or apartment is something you will never forget. For some, it is a stressful experience full of buyer’s remorse and pressure; however, that doesn’t have to be indicative of your experience. First-time home buyers have a lot of information to consider. It’s a task that can seem overwhelming, but with the proper advice and information, this could be one of the best experiences of your life.
Don’t be Afraid to Shop Around
Image via Flickr by Inhabitat Blog
A lot of first-time home buyers fall into the pattern of limiting their options. Just because you liked the first place you saw, that doesn’t mean it’s the only one you should consider. Whether it’s price, location or upgrades, decide what is most important to you and your way of life.
When buying a home, the price is a major factor for most people, but remember it is not the only thing to keep in mind. As the economy changes, you may find that the kind of home you’re looking for is closer to your price range than you thought. Check the price range of similar apartments or houses in the area you’re considering.
Consider the Mortgage
You should shop around not only for the house or apartments but for the mortgage as well. Before you find the perfect home, it’s important to have your finances in order. Most people pay a mortgage when purchasing real estate, especially for houses. When buying an apartment, this is a more comfortable idea, because it is similar to paying rent each month. It seems logical to find the place you’re interested in and then find the mortgage to match, but this is where many first-time buyers encounter issues.
Having the mortgage sorted out beforehand will help you understand how much you can spend. The lender will look at your credit and other factors to tell you how much you are “pre-approved” for. Once you have your price range laid out, you can look for a home that’s priced well below your budget. You may be surprised how much you could afford.
Finding the mortgage before finding the home will keep things at a pace that fits you. Without a place being considered yet, there is no pressure to sign on to a monthly payment that makes you uncomfortable. When the mortgage is being set around a specific home, lenders can push certain options on the buyers that might make payments difficult.
Include Taxes and Insurance
Image via Flickr by Stacie
When you’re buying your own home, you are responsible for every dime that goes into it. This includes insurance and (the more overlooked) taxes. For a condo or apartment, there are also maintenance fees that many buyers don’t think about during the search.
If you’re considering buying a home, you will need to figure out your monthly housing costs after you add taxes and insurance. Escrow and taxes are sometimes afterthoughts for new home buyers, but they can increase your total payment to nearly twice the amount. If you’re not sure of your total price range in this area, using an affordability calculator will help.
When buying an apartment or condo, you must consider some extra fees. You will be responsible for paying a share of costs for running the entire building — this is a maintenance fee. It is a small percentage of your overall payment, but it can raise the total substantially. It is important to consider these fees when narrowing down your apartment search.
If you keep your options open and remember the whole cost, you will not only find the place of your dreams but the most practical one. Buying the first house is a wonderful journey. Enjoy the experience because you only get one shot at your first time.