It might be worth buying a home because its a buyers market in Phoenix and what you’re paying in rent you could actually save money paying a mortgage and build equity. Consider these 13 things before buying a home as first-time home buyer
- Go to a bank and get pre-approved so you know what market to look in. Dont find the perfect house only to realize its outside your budget.
- I know its already been said but the absolute most important thing you can do when buying a home is get a home inspection. If you get one and he didnt seem thorough, get a different one. It may seem redundant and throwing money away but its like a fart in a whirlwind compared to a major problem. Get a good home inspection.
- Don’t be afraid to haggle at the bank about interest rates or compare offers from another bank, particularly if you have good credit.
- There is no way to know how far under list price to go. Look for similar sales in the neighborhood and see what they are going for, then shoot around there. The worst they can do is say no. They dont break your knees because you sent an offer that insulted them.
- Dont buy more house than you can afford. You can always pay down a mortgage faster and sale your home that is now too small down the line. Do NOT buy a home at the top-end that you can afford. Just dont. Dont even think about it. If youre pre-approved for 250k…then look around 175-180 for example. Be conservative!
- Be realistic about fixer-uppers. Everyone thinks they are fixer-uppers until they have to start fixing-up. Its not super magic fun time like it appears to be on the home improvement commercials and channels. Home improvement is hell and not only can it ruin your finances it can ruin your entire marriage and life. Thats a little hyperbolic but that not much! Be realistic here and then be a tad more conservative just to be safe.
- Dont assume the mortgage payment is the only money you have to spend to maintain your house. It will need upkeep and that costs money. Figure, AT LEAST, about two payments a year for routine maintenance. Thats just ballpark and your mileage will vary but you should plan for unexpected expenses you would have never thought of having never owned a home.
- Lawns are more expensive than you think. While this is true of everything lawn care can add up fast. Whether you are paying people to do it or doing it yourself. Everyone wants a massive back yard to run fifty dogs, some cows, and half the school through but then no one wants the shed full of lawn mowers and things necessary to maintain it. Lawns are also an investment in time. Some people enjoy this, some people have to pay other people to enjoy it for them. Decide which one you are and then budget because your lawn is your service to your whole community.
- Pools are basically a pit in your yard that you pour money and water in.
- Be frank and honest with your realtor about what you like and do not like about some the houses. Do not walk into the first house and make an offer. Look at more houses.
- Dont decide to buy or not buy based on cosmetic things. Most mortgages are 30 years. Don’t rule a house out because some second-hand couch you happen to own right now wont look good in the living room. That’s just an example…but think long term about what your needs are and how the house is going to fit into that. Buying is NOT like leasing. You cant just wait it out until the lease is up in 6 months and skip along on your merry way none the wiser. Be mindful of that.
- If you still want to buy, please Get a home inspection and find an excellent inspector. Do not use the realtor’s – I speak from experience. Check everything to know what you are getting. Make sure that you position your budget to have cash on hand for your next property, cover costs on this one, and enter into the process as if this is a business deal. It is! No emotion. Always be positioned to walk away.
- Closing will be stressful. It always is. That’s just how it is.
Anyways, good luck. Owning your own
house castle is very rewarding.