Where To Start When Buying Your Home

Buying your first house can be an incredibly exciting experience. The chance to live somewhere which belongs to you is something which very few people have, and there are a huge amount of benefits which can come with an experience like this. Of course, though, the complexity and importance of this purchase only makes it more complicated. To help out with this, this post will be exploring some of the key steps that need to be taken when you’re going through this process, giving you the chance to focus on the things which really matter.

The Deposit

Not a lot of people realise quite how important the deposit is when they’re buying a home. There are very few mortgage companies out there that will be willing to help you if you can’t put some of the money towards the home yourself, making it just about impossible to go through this process without saving for one. There are some tricky factors to iron out with something like this, and you can find some examples of the sort of work which will have to be done below.

The Amount: While you need to have some money saved when you’re buying a home, it might not have to be as much as you expect. A lot of mortgage providers will be happy to accept as little as 10% of the home’s value, though the more you put into this, the lower your monthly repayments will be, making it crucial that you balance this out to make your loan more affordable. When figuring out how much you can afford, it is critical that you consider the full cost of buying a home. You will have different taxes to pay, including land transfer tax, as well as estate agent fees, the cost of moving, and more. Make sure you calculate all of this before proceeding.

Saving It: Saving for something like this can be a challenge, as most people don’t have a clear idea of what they need to do to put this amount of money away. Using smartphone apps, budgeting websites, and accounting software can help you with this, but it will also be smart to reduce your spending as much as possible. The quicker you can save this, the quicker you will be able to start looking for the home you want.

The Research

Once you’ve started the process of saving for your deposit, it will be time to switch your focus onto a little bit of research. It’s always a good idea to have a clear understanding of the work you’re about to undertake, with all of the complexities in this field making it hard to handle things without the right knowledge. You can find some of the most crucial areas below, though it can often be worth spending time on others, too.

The Process: Securing a mortgage and having it paid out isn’t as simple as applying for a normal loan. Depending on your location and the laws which are in place there, you could find yourself having to jump through a series of hoops to get yourself a loan which will cover everything you need. Thankfully, there are loads of local websites out there which can help you to understand the mortgage application process.

The Requirements: A lot of people think that a large deposit will be enough to secure their home, though this simply isn’t the case. Instead, you also need to be earning enough, have a good history with your finances, and be willing to put aside a large amount of your money to go into this each month. There are no mortgage companies out there which ignore affordability tests, but you can find websites which let you test this for yourself using an online calculator.

The Market: The housing market is always changing, with a huge range of factors influencing the cost of homes across the world. Before you can dive into buying a home, you will need to know how much they cost, and this is going to take a little bit of hunting. There are several websites out there which can take you through the recent market trends, ensuring that you have a strong understanding of the current position of the homes you want.

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The Broker

Once you’ve done a little bit of research, it will be time to get on with finding the broker who will be helping you to choose the mortgage you go for. This sort of organisation is dedicated to helping people to find providers for financial services. They will use their knowledge and expertise to find you the very best options they can, while also making it nice and easy to get started with the application. Of course, as a big part of this, though, you need to have a couple of boxes ticked.

Their Credibility: Before you put your trust in the hands of a mortgage broker, it will be crucial that you make sure that they are credible. Companies like Altrua Financial have been in the business for a very long time, and will have loads of customers who are happy to talk about their work. Testimonials are one of the best ways to determine how credible a broker is, along with the credentials which can be found on their websites.

Their Costs: While a lot of the money a broker makes will come from the financial service providers they work with, some will also charge their end-customers with fees to make even more. You rarely have to pay something like this if you do some research, with the right companies refusing to charge their customers when they are already paying so much into something. This is well worth researching when you want to save some money.

The Real Estate Agents

Some people like to go down the route of buying their home privately, using adverts on websites like Craigslist to find options which suit them. This can be risky, though, and most will find the experience of going with a professional company to be much more pleasant. There are a couple of factors which have to be considered when you’re going through this process, and you can find some examples of them below.

Their Costs: Much like the broker you decide to use, it will be important to make sure that your estate agent isn’t going to charge you a fortune for using their services. You will likely have to pay something, but most of the money they make should come from sellers, with small admin fees being left on your end. You can be open and honest about this, asking for information about the financial side of your arrangement at any step in the process.

Their Connections: The broker, lawyers, and other professionals you’ll need to use along your home-buying journey will all be hard to come by when you first get started. The right estate agents will have connections with companies like this, though, and will be able to put you in touch with people who can help you throughout the entire process. As long as their connections are good, you can rely on this to make your experience a lot more pleasant.

Their Range: As the most crucial part of this, it’s essential that your estate agent has a good range of homes on their books. If they don’t have anything you like, it will be pointless working with them, and this will make it worth moving on to another company. It’s crucial that you remember who is important here, with the purchase you’re about to make being far more pressing than keeping a business happy.

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The Seller

Finally, as the last area to consider, it’s time to think about the seller of your home. Not a lot of people think about this before they take the plunge, though this person can make the process a lot harder, and you have to make sure that they aren’t going to get in the way of it. Trust is a large component in this process, and this makes it worth talking to them face to face before you decide whether or not you’re going to go for it. Along with this, though, you also have to be logical, ensuring that they are in a good position to sell.

A big part of this will revolve around their future plans. If they already have a place to move into, they will probably want to sell their old home as quickly as possible, and this will work to your benefit. If they don’t have a home, though, they will probably want to make the process take longer, making it crucial that you have an idea of their plans. Finances can also come into this, though it won’t be easy to figure out whether or not they can afford to sell their home until you go through the process with them.

While you have a lot of work to do when it comes to buying a home, it shouldn’t be too hard to get started with the right help. There are other things you’ll need to focus on during this process, though, and this makes it worth getting all of the support you can find. If you need more help in the beginning, it will be worth reading a few financial blogs or getting in touch with your bank, as you should be able to learn a lot from them.

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17 thoughts

  1. The location and the budget are the two most important considerations. Never tell a broker your top price, because they somehow always assume that if you can f.e. afford to spend 200,000 USD you can also foot a 250.000 USD bill. And they will NEVER mention commissions, registration fees and kind of duck questions about eventual monthly costs to live in a condominium or apartment building (this is a tricky one when the owner’s association recently decided about some near future renovation works at the communal spaces). And when it’s to good to be true, it usually is.

  2. I have found the number one issue for buying a house is location. Check the area (and City, County, State) crime rates. This is of prime importance in protecting your investment. You may not see it as an investment yet, but not many people live in the same house forever now.
    Check that there are no area development plans that will impact the value of your new house.
    Make sure that the house is as far away from apartment complexes as possible.
    Check insurance issues, is it in a flood plain? earthquake,forest fire etc. Make sure that you can get adequate coverage for such areas and don’t even think of buying a house in a flood plain.

    Once you can identify your desired area, choose the house, then get into the finances. I have always found “no money down” mortgage offers. I have not always taken the offers up but they exist, and a first time home buyer will find this very useful.
    Most realtors are of a similar type. All they want is the commission, so the research is on you.
    Location and future area development plans are of prime importance.
    This is how I buy houses in the USA

  3. Such a complex process and making a mistake is not an option but it happens. We do need to think carefully because our environment is so important. It becomes a haven. Nice post

  4. These are some really useful tips and things that I have potentially not even thought of before! Thanks for sharing!

  5. We have a house in Florida. This is the second house we’ve bought. We will be selling soon since we will be traveling across the US and possibly abroad. We are in the process of looking for a house which we can use for travel as well. We are looking into different styles of RV’s.

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