First time home buyers often wonder if they’re making a big mistake. The idea of committing to a house and a mortgage payment can feel worrying and unsettling. On the other hand, the allure of owning your own place can also feel exciting! Before you jump into homeownership, here are several quick tips to help you to buy a home that you’ll love without regrets:
1. Determine How Much You Can Safely Afford
It’s a good idea to know how much house you can buy without causing yourself financial stress or discomfort. A safe guideline is to make sure your mortgage plus other debt payments shouldn’t be more than 36% of your gross monthly income.
2. Research Neighborhoods and House Types
After figuring out how much house you can comfortably afford, take some time to research neighborhoods in areas you would like to live. Look for information about neighborhood safety and crime data, identify proximity to local hospitals, grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacy, and any other nearby venues that may be important to you. Even if you don’t have kids, check out local school ratings as well, since these can affect home values.
When looking at homes directly, it’s a good idea to choose a home that will fit your needs. Do you want a spacious single-family home with a yard? Or would you prefer a townhome or condo with a homeowner’s association fee to pay for amenities and maintenance?
3. Hire a Skilled Real Estate Agent
Good real estate agents are experts not only in buying and selling homes, but also in the local areas in which they serve. Their experience and knowledge can be invaluable to the first-time homebuyer. They help to locate suitable homes in desirable areas, as well as to avoid any pitfalls of the process. Look for a skilled agent that you get along with, who has experience in the area you want to buy and a reputation for putting their customer’s needs first.
4. Buy with the Future in Mind
Buying a home that meets your current needs is easy to do, but what will you need in 2 years? 3 years? For example, if you plan to expand your family, you can position yourself for these future changes by buying a home with room to grow. Just be sure you have room enough for the next 5 years in the home.
5. Do Your Homework
When you find a place that you’d like to buy, remember the peripheral things. Talk to neighbors and ask about local benefits and concerns in the area. Visit the property and neighborhood at different times throughout the week to note what is going on around the area.
If you think it may be time to buy your first home here in the Atlanta area, call our team here at DUFFY Realty for a conversation. Our knowledgeable agents are among the best, providing high-quality service and attentive care to our first-time home buyer clients. Call us at (678) 318-1700 to learn how we can help you find your new home.