Buying a home needs more planning and effort than any of your regular purchases, especially for younger families and first-time home buyers. This can be a daunting venture as it will take time, energy and test your decision-making skills. It may be a huge step to take, but you and your family will definitely reap the benefits for a long time. Here are some tips to help you get through this vital stage in your family's life:
Consider a Good Location
Make sure you have a clear idea of what type of residence you choose to have and ensure it matches your family's needs. Once you've decided if you prefer a house or a condo, another essential factor to consider is the location. You should choose a location that's close to where you work, your kid's current school, and important establishments like hospitals and supermarkets.
Make sure you'll also be able to avoid traffic jams and save on fares or gas. Depending on your specific needs, other key establishments you need to consider regarding proximity are government offices, banks, and recreational areas.
It's also vital that you explore the surrounding area. Fortunately, most residential developments and condominiums have 24/7 security. However, it's still recommended to walk around and check if there are factors that might cause unwanted circumstances such as flooding, theft, and other security threats.
Know Your Budget
Once you've decided where to purchase your property, check your budget if you have sufficient savings to buy your potential home, and take into consideration some crucial factors such as down payment, reservation fees, amortization, and some move-in expenses like upgrades, home repairs, and furnishings.
Have a list of the expenses you need to prioritize, especially if you have a limited budget. For instance, other home add-ons and improvements can wait in the long run, so don't be pressured to put them first so you can properly budget for the most important tasks.
There are ways to achieve your dream home even if you have a limited budget. You can either opt for bank financing or housing loans. Ensure you have all your necessary documents and a mortgage broker to assist you, as not all loans are equally created. Talk to some institutions and compare their terms and rates as the approval also highly depends on your credit history.
To ensure you get approved for your housing loan, you must meet their eligibility criteria and complete requirements. To increase your chances of approval, you should be realistic and go for a property that you can afford, make sure you have enough balance in your savings account, and have a steady source of income.
Conduct a Home Inspection
Most houses have defects, so make sure to know which things need fixing to negotiate for a lower price. A home inspection is essential for you to check not only damage but also pest infestations, which can be a severe health hazard.
You can start with the house exterior and look for common issues like visible cracks and damaged roofs. Check the wall, floor, and ceilings for cracks for the interior as they can be formed during earthquakes or construction. It can also mean poor engineering and a lack of a strong foundation, which are things you want to avoid.
It's also important to inspect the plumbing by checking the faucets and see if you're okay with the water pressure. If the pressure is too low, it can indicate clogged or leaky pipes. Test the toilet flush and shower a few times to check if they're working well.
Lastly, one of the most important things to check is any signs or activity of pest infestation by knocking on wooden structures like desks, cabinets, and walls. If they chip easily and sound hollow, it can be an indication of termite activity.
Continue Growing Your Savings
The process of purchasing your home doesn't end when you move in. Aside from the monthly mortgage, other expenses include association fees, insurance, repairs, and more. This is a crucial time to start saving more and looking for additional income sources to ensure you're constantly updated with your bills and prepared for unexpected expenses.
Some extra income opportunities you can pursue include building your own small business, freelancing, and renting out extra space in your home. This will help you meet your new financial obligations without neglecting your other personal goals.
Homeownership is a gratifying experience for everyone. It's about giving your family a sense of security for the rest of their lives, so making the right choice is essential, especially for younger families. This is one of the major purchases you'll make, so take time to prepare, research, and seek help to ensure you achieve your housing goals.