Lots of people are looking for new homes. It has been estimated that between 2009 and 2013, the number of Google searches for real estate went up 253%. If you are thinking about looking for your first home, the process can seem daunting. The good news is that it really does not have to be. Here are some tips to make the process easier and less stressful.
- Check your budget. Before you set out on the process to make a big purchase, you need to know how much you can afford to spend. To get that information, you need to do a hard a thorough examination of your finances. Look at how much money you have coming in and how much you really have going out. When you look at real estate purchases, you should budget to pay no more than 30% of your take-home pay.
- Check your credit. Before you set out to looks for homes for sale, you need to know what your credit looks like. This can be a painful process but it will be much worse to get bad news from a loan officer when you go your financial institution for a loan. If you have issues with your bank, you may want to check out the local credit union They are often there to help people whose credit may not be perfect. They also may be able to tell you about government grants that you do not know about.
- Stop spending and start saving. One thing lenders look at is how much credit you have and much spending you are doing. In the few months before you buy your real estate, you should start saving and put off buying a new car until the deal has been sealed. This can have a big impact on the loan that you get.
- Think about where you will be in five years. You may have one lifestyle now but that may change. Think about where you want to be in terms of your family in five years. The process of looking for houses for sale can be long and stressful. The chances are good that you are not going to want to go through it again for a while. If you do not have children now but think you will think of that when you look at homes.
- Check out the neighborhoods. Stall the neighborhoods you are considering if you can. You should check them out on different days of the week and different times of the day. A great neighborhood may be sketchy late at night or on some days of the week. You also should take the commute to work from there and to the area from work. It may be a breeze on Sunday afternoon but a nightmare during the week. Before you think about buying a house, it does not take too much effort to spend some time walking around various neighborhoods in your town to just get a better sense of what they all have to offer.
- Look into schools. Whether or not you have kids or plan to have them in the future, this is an important thing you should look at. It has been said that a good school system can improve homes in that area by as much as 20%. That should be right up there with the other amenities you care about like grocery stores, transportation, and the nightlife.
- Get the right agent. When you are looking at real estate, it important to have the right person on your side. They are very much your navigators through the murky and ever-changing waters of buying a first home. You need someone with a solid track record selling homes in the area. The best case is to talk to a few people you know and get the same person recommended by more than one friend or family member. A well-connected realtor can help you learn about the best homes that are available and fall in your budget.
When you are jumping into the work of real estate, you can be worried but looking at homes can be a pleasant experience if you go into the process totally prepared and ready to make the plunge.