If you’re first-time home buyers, purchasing a home is a really BIG deal, and you need help. Sometimes, young people rush into it because it’s a sign of, “We’ve arrived.” In many ways, this is accurate. A new home buyer is making a huge, long term commitment that proves they earn enough money, passed the credit requirements, plan to be there awhile, and are real grown ups now. It’s not surprising that young home buyers want to take that leap. There are some important things, however, that first-time home buyers should consider before making the big move.
Dave Ramsey, the budget guru, recommends the following first time home buyer tips so you make a wise decision within your budget that will also lead to long term stability for you and your growing family (yes, you may have a growing family someday):
- Pay Off All Debt and Build an Emergency Fund
- Determine How Much House You Can Afford
- Save a Down Payment
- Save for Closing Costs
- Get Preapproved for a Loan
- Find a Home for Sale in Your Price Range
- Research Neighborhoods for Best Fit
- Attend Open Houses and Think Long Term
- Make a Competitive Offer (That’s Within Your Budget!)
- Prepare for Closing
There’s lots of excellent advice on the internet for a first time home buyer, but most experts who aren’t trying to sell you something include derivations of Ramsey’s advice. Study their good advice. As Ramsey notes, home ownership is usually a wise long-term move, but you need to know what you’re getting into and need the advice of professionals who can help you.
It’s not a good do-it-yourself project, so save that for planting your first garden where the stakes are lower, but lovely. Finding your dream home can be fun, but it can also be overwhelming. Sometimes a home’s future “potential” is more important than what you see, and experienced homeowners and realtors can help you “see” the potential you might not notice. It’s sort of like great bone structure. Makeup is easy to add, but it’s all in the bone structure.
You’ll also need to consider the expenses and needs of the upkeep of your first home. You’ll need to consider these expenses and your available time and knowhow before you take the big plunge. Problems will surely arise, and they can sometimes be expensive. Replacing a central air conditioning system or cleaning up a flooded basement can cost several months of your family income.
For most of us, owning a home provides financial security, a nest egg, a wise investment, and years of pleasure. Buying a home must be done correctly, though, with thought and care.