Congratulations, you’ve made the decision to make an investment in your future by buying a home. Now it’s time to think about what you need to do as you take this big step. Noted real estate expert Barbara Corcoran shares five things with today’s home buyers as you embark on the new journey known as home-ownership.
Are You Prepared for the Costs Associated with Owning a Home?
If you can’t even fathom the prospect of a home maintenance crisis without having a maintenance professional at your apartment community to call and fix it, you might want to reconsider home ownership. Even a lower-maintenance condo or townhome in great condition will require some work on the homeowner’s behalf. (And make sure you get a home warranty, regardless!) In addition to home maintenance, property taxes and other fees are associated with homeownership. Are you prepared to deal with the other costs outside of your mortgage?
Do You Understand Your Expectations?
In a down market, there are always many choices available, and price is not the only thing that can be negotiated. So if the timing isn’t right, the financing doesn’t fit or closing costs are unreasonable, do not be afraid to walk away and look at the next home on your list. Set your parameters early on as to what specific time frames and certain price points you can handle. Be prepared to walk away if the terms do not work.
Remember that question I asked you earlier this week? Knowing where you are going to be in the next 5 years not only helps you decide whether renting or buying is the best choice, but it will also help you decide what kind of home you might be looking for. Should you be searching for a home that will allow for your family to grow? Should you also consider school districts or easy access to Interstates for commuting? Think about location as your life stands now and what your future will be. Home-ownership is a commitment to your future. Search for a home that will grow with you.
Bigger is not always better; having the largest house in the neighborhood can even be a hurdle during resale. Should you be searching for a home that will allow for your family to grow? Make sure you consider not only your current household size but also any plans to add to your family in the near future. Household changes can make a spacious home today feel cramped down the road. More kids is obvious, but what about an elderly parent, or a large dog? Having an extra room or a fenced yard may not currently be top priorities but a little planning for these scenarios now can save you in the future.
Are All of Your Questions Answered?
It’s easy to get caught up in the moments of purchasing a home. You are finding a place to create memories with your family and friends; finding a space to make your own. But before you paint that spare room the perfect shade of buttercup yellow, be sure to get all of your questions answered by the experts. Ask your real estate professional if you don’t understand something, talk to your loan officer about the terms and conditions, ask the home inspector if he or she really thinks that roof can hold off for another two years. While the road to home-ownership can be a fun one, make sure it’s paved with knowledge you’ve acquired from the experts at your disposal.