Buying your first home is an exciting milestone, but rushing the process can result in a negative outcome.
Consider some steps you should take to ensure you find the right home in your budget.
Research the neighborhood
Location is often the most important element in a real estate transaction. It affects your quality of life and resale value, which is significant if you decide to purchase a starter home.
Start by attending open houses in your chosen neighborhoods. Take photographs, so you have something tangible to help you compare homes later. Research local crime rates and ask your realtor about safety concerns in the area. If you have or plan to have children, consider the school district, and make note of how far you are from important landmarks, such as grocery stores.
Know your budget
Determine how much you can spend and communicate that amount with your realtor. First-time buyers should have at least 20% to put down right away, but some lenders will allow as little as 3% depending on certain factors. Save money by setting up automatic deposits into a savings account and putting aside irregular income, such as bonuses or tax returns.
Know your financing options
Look into the different financing benefits for first-time buyers. The Federal Housing Administration Loan helps lower your mortgage costs. The Down Payment Assistance Program through the NJMFA can help you reach your down payment goals.
Research is the key to a successful home-buying process for first-timers. The more you know, the more potential disasters you can avoid.