Buying a house will be the largest purchase most people will ever make so it can be nerve-racking. You don’t want to make a bad decision on this one, so here are 11 tips for helping you find the right house and stay financial stable:
1. Don’t go into debt to furnish your home. No matter how good it sounds, getting furniture on an installment plan is ALWAYS a bad idea.
2. Borrow the least amount possible, for the least time possible, at the least percentage rate possible, in that order. A lot of people only look at the percentage rate and then get the biggest mortgage they can and lock in for 30 years. Don’t do it!
3. Buy less than you can afford! Why burden yourself with a mountain of debt to get something that’s more than you need?
4. Make a Wants & Needs list. As you look at houses, check off the needs first, then move to the wants.
5. Budget for post-move expenses. There are always unexpected situations that arise. Plan for this, and set aside some money to deal with the unexpected.
6. Put down as much as possible. The more you put down, the better deal you’ll get and the less interest you’ll have to pay in the long run.
7. Take your digital camera with you while touring homes. Take your own, impartial pics for your own records and to document any defects that will help your negotiating stance.
8. The closing date in the contract is meaningless. Don’t schedule movers or break leases, etc. until the official closing date is set.
9. Make a low offer, because you can never negotiate downwards. If the seller is motivated, you’ll be surprised how much you can save.
10. Read the paperwork. Read all of it. If you’re buying the home with somebody else (such as a spouse), either tag-team the reading or both read everything and ask questions if you don’t understand.
11. Don’t Rush! It may seem like a once-in-a-lifetime deal, until another once-in-a-lifetime deal comes along the next month.
Are you a homeowner or prospective buyer? What tips would you give to someone buying their first home?