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5 Tips for a New Home Owner

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Nothing beats the feeling of walking into your new home for the first time, having passed all the hassle and stress of the buying process. However, to get to this point of satisfaction, there are a lot of hoops you have to jump through, some will be disheartening while others will be challenging. This thrilling and nerve-wracking experience can be made easier with these tips!

1. Get an experienced realtor

A realtor who knows the area is a huge asset when looking for your ideal home. After deciding where you would like to live, a realtor in that area will help finish the last mile of the task. Most people get reliable realtors from personal referrals who have worked with a friend or relative in your target neighborhood.

A knowledgeable realtor will save you a lot of time and helps you find the home of your dreams. A good realtor will be fighting by your side till the closing of the sale and can refer you to qualified real estate attorneys and loan officers. Ask the realtor about the costs of closing and the entire closing process, so you can be prepared in advance.

2. Invest in Essential Tools

In the first year of owning your home, you may need to do a lot of improvements and changes. It pays to buy the essential tools and make friends with a local handyman, who will be of assistance with repairs and small renovations. They can also link you to the reputable professional contractors in the area. These tools will serve you for years to come so buy them as soon as you get the home. If you aren’t sure what tools qualify as ‘essential,’ take a look at this list of 20 Tools Every Homeowner Should Have.

3. Avoid Comparison

The quickest way to rob yourself of the home buyer’s happiness is to begin comparing it to your friends’ homes or professional homes in magazines or on Pinterest. This incredibly exciting period and achievement should be recognized instead of watering it down with negative feelings. Instead, focus on making this home welcoming even to you; it is a long journey and not a short race. Money may be tight for a while, but think of it as an investment in your future.

4. Qualify Yourself

Being your first home, you already know what you can afford for the mortgage even before the lender does their calculations. Using simple mortgage calculators you can know the debt-to-income ratios required by the lenders and know in advance what you can comfortably afford to pay as a down payment and monthly. A front-end ratio of 28% and backend ratio of 36% is preferred by lenders though some require a backend ratio of 45% of even higher.

After preparing all this, get pre-approved for a mortgage ahead of time. This has the benefit of establishing what the lenders think you can afford therefore allowing you to focus only on the homes within your budget range. This reduces the number of contingencies you need to offer hence making you look good to lenders.

5. List Your Non-Negotiables

In the early stages of searching for a home, you should prepare a short list of your ‘must haves’ and ‘deal breakers.’ The must haves are items that you can’t live without, like number of bathrooms, square footage, location, home design, etc. Your deal breakers are things that you can’t deal with, like maybe a bus stop outside your bedroom window, or a location that makes for an extra-long commute. Remember to be flexible when buying your first home and realistic when it comes to your budget.

With the help of your realtor, houses with these features can easily be identified and zeroed in on. It is critical to know beforehand what you want, this makes house hunting more efficient and less stressful. Visiting open houses is a great way to identify these features then re-evaluate your list and budget based on what you have seen in the local market.

The process of owning a first home may not be easy especially, if you’re doing it on your own. However, with these tips, you’ll be one step ahead of the next first time home buyer and can find the perfect home of your dreams!

Author Bio- Elizabeth is on the content team for Dynasty Properties. She enjoys decorating homes in her spare time and spending time with her family. Her husband and two children like to ski, hike, and travel in their free time.

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