Advice for First Time Home Buyers (And Any Homeowner, Really)
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Buying your first home is a huge milestone. The home buying process is exciting, overwhelming, and stressful, especially at a time where prices are high and available homes are flying off the market. While this may tempt you to act on impulse and buy a house you can’t actually afford, it’s important to take a step back and make a savvy decision that doesn’t put your future financial goals at risk. If you are ready to buy a home, take a look at these 4 key pieces of advice for first time home buyers.
1. Figure Out How Much House You Can Really Afford
Buying a home is a very exciting endeavour, but the last thing you want is to purchase a home you can’t afford. A mortgage pre-approval is an important part of the home buying process. If you’re pre-approved, it means that a lender has confirmed you qualify for a mortgage loan based on your finances and other information you have provided.
With a pre-approval you know the maximum amount of mortgage you could qualify for, which is key to buying a home you can actually afford. It will also allow you to estimate your mortgage payments to determine what you would need to come up with on a monthly basis.
2. Consider Your Lifestyle
When buying a home, take into consideration what’s important for you in terms of your current lifestyle. Do you love being close to good restaurants? Is it important for you to be near your friends and family? Is it essential for public transit to be easily accessible? Do you want a gym nearby?
Sometimes in order to buy a house, you have to move away from the area you’re used to, especially if that area is known to be costly. Weigh out how important it is for you to have your dream home versus living your current lifestyle, as well as how important it is to be in a certain location. This will help you narrow down your search and allow you to live a lifestyle you’re happy with.
3. Budget Planning for Everyday Living
Budget planning is extremely important, especially after you buy a home. You don’t want to be struggling to make your mortgage payments because you spent too much money on daily lattes and home decor. Remember, when you own a home, you’re responsible for all the expenses, maintenance and upkeep costs, which can add up fast. Creating a budget allows you to stay on track with your financial goals. You’re able to track your income and expenses and plan for the future.
4. Life Insurance and Estate Planning
If you buy a home with your partner or spouse, it’s a good idea to buy life insurance. It ensures that all (or part) of your mortgage would be paid off in the event of your death. This is especially significant if you have a partner that couldn’t manage the mortgage without your income.
You’ll also want to create a will in which you name a beneficiary or beneficiaries to inherit your home. Note that if you buy a house with your partner or spouse, depending on the purchase structure, your home could likely pass directly to the surviving owner.
You can also create a power of attorney for property, in which you give someone the power to make decisions about your property and finances if you were unable to do so yourself. Having these systems in place ensures your most valuable asset is in good hands.
Ready to buy your first home? Take this advice to heart and reach out to us at askNina for any of your home buying or selling needs.