When I decided to buy my first home, I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t know what to look for or what questions to ask. Fortunately, I was able to make it through the process thanks to a little patience and lots of help from others. Now that I’ve got some great knowledge under my belt, I’d like to share it with you. Keep reading for 7 lessons I learned after buying a house for the first time.
Work With a Real Estate Professional
No one knows what you want in a home better than you. So you may think handling everything on your own is the best route to take. But this isn’t actually the case. Working with a real estate agent helped me get a better understanding of the home buying process and also helped ensure my transaction went as smoothly as possible.
Have an Emergency Fund
Owning a home means that you’re responsible for all repairs and maintenance issues that arise. Unfortunately, things will usually need to be repaired or replaced without warning. This means that you need to have some money set aside to cover any unnecessary expenses. Your emergency fund should be enough to cover 3 months of living expenses. Although the exact number will vary, somewhere in the $9,000 to $12,000 range will be adequate for most people. In addition to an emergency fund, purchasing a home warranty can also be a great way to save yourself money in the event that an appliance or another major system in your home goes on the fritz.
Be Present at the Home Inspection and Pay Attention
Home inspections are important because they’ll let you know exactly what condition the home is in when you buy it. Not only is it important that you be present for the inspection, but you’ll also want to pay attention so that you can ask any questions that come to mind and make sure the property is inspected thoroughly. The results of the inspection will give you a clear idea of what you’re getting yourself into and what you’re looking at in terms of repairs.
Sellers Aren’t Necessarily Required to Fix Things
Like lots of people, I thought any issues in the home must be fixed by the seller before the home is sold. But this isn’t actually the case. While there are some issues that must be fixed if found in an inspection, most things will fall on the new owner to repair if they choose to do so. If there are things wrong with the home that you’d like to be fixed before you buy, you can negotiate with the seller to see if they’d be willing to pay for the repairs.
Don’t Settle on the First House You Like
Buying your first house is exciting, so it can be easy to want to rush and get something as soon as possible. However, it’s important to take your time. A house is probably the biggest purchase you’ll ever make so you want to make sure you get something you like. Even if you find a house you like early in your search, it’s important to continue to shop around a bit and keep your options open until you find the home you really want. This doesn’t mean that you should hold off on making an offer on a house that you really like but moving forward with the very first house you see might not be the best idea.
Meeting Your Neighbors is Important
Introducing yourself to your new neighbors may not be high on your priority list, but it should be. Your neighbors can be a great resource for information and having a good relationship with them will make your new home even more enjoyable. Just a few days after moving into my home, I made it a point to introduce myself to some of the people in my neighborhood and they provided me with lots of helpful information about the area.
Your Mortgage Won’t Be Your Only Monthly Payment
One thing that attracts people to home ownership is the possibility of having a mortgage payment that’s lower than their current rate. While it’s true your mortgage itself may seem like a dream come true, it’s important to factor in other monthly expenses as well. For example, in addition to my mortgage, I also have to pay for utilities, homeowner’s insurance, and property taxes.
As you start your journey to owning your first home, I hope the tips above help you go into your purchase with the knowledge you need to have a positive experience.
Guest blog by: Amanda Turner
Thinking about Buying or Selling? Call or Text: 970-417-9375
Copyright 2019-2021 Keller Williams Colorado West Realty, LLC. If you have a brokerage relationship with another agency, this is not intended as a solicitation. Equal opportunity housing provider. Each office is independently owned and operated. For sale by owner data not included in research findings. Sales data reflects sales from homes not limited to the Atha Team LLC. This information was gathered from Keller Williams, The National Association of Realtor, CoreLogic data analysis firm, Montrose Association of Realtors, and the Mortgage Brokers Association. This data is considered accurate, but is not guaranteed. Copyright Atha Team LLC 2019-2021. All Rights Reserved. Sources The Balance, House Method, Realtor.com, And Then We Saved, and Amanda Turner.