Buying a house is one of the most important and biggest decisions you’ll make in your life, but it can also be quite a confusing process. If you’re embarking on this major life change, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind so you don’t make any costly missteps.
- Use a realtor you trust. This is the first step because your realtor will be your biggest confidant during this time. You need to make sure you can trust them to help you find exactly what you’re looking for without worrying that they’re only interested in landing a commission.
- Prepare for the contracts. There is a lot of paperwork involved in buying a house. And like all contracts, there is always room for negotiation. And there is also the ability to move things around in your contract if you don’t want those aspects. You also don’t need to feel rushed into a decision, so you don’t have to.
- Plan for the long term. If you aren’t married, then you might want to reevaluate whether or not you’re actually going to be able to commit to buying a home with your significant other. It’s also difficult to assess because you can’t split assets in the same way if things do end if you’re not married to your significant other.
- Buy within your means. Your mortgage company will tell you that you’re able to afford a house that might be outside of your budget. You might look good on paper, but you want to make sure that you factor in whether or not you might lose your job or change careers or if the economy takes a downturn. Make sure that you factor in the “what if” situations, and ask your mortgage broker to be realistic with you on what is involved in the prices.
- Consider all the costs involved. The purchase price isn’t the only cost that you need to be paying attention to when you buy a home. You need to also consider the homeowner’s fee, insurance costs, and real estate taxes. You’ll also need to make sure you budget money for regular upkeep of your home and maintenance, ranging from large projects to smaller cosmetic things.
- Don’t get too fixated on the home mortgage interest deduction. Only about a third of taxpayers will be able to actually save on the home mortgage interested deduction when filing their taxes. So don’t bank too much on saving there.