Thinking about buying a new house? It can be an incredibly exciting experience, and a great way to bring your thoughts of the future into your present reality. But buying a house can also be overwhelming at times. It’s important to go about it the right way, from your initial search to signing your name on the dotted line.
First, you’ll want to make sure you’re ready to take the plunge and buy a house, rather than rent a place. It’s a big commitment and can take a toll on your finances if you’re not fully prepared.
While it’s easy to get caught up in all of the excitement, especially if this is your first home-buying experience, knowing as much as you can ahead of time can make the entire process easier and less stressful for you.
So, what should you consider before you sign on that line?
Are You Really Ready to Move?
Perhaps the most important thing to ask yourself is if you’re really ready to make a move. There are a lot of things to consider even before you move and buy a house. Some questions you should ask yourself include:
Do I know which type of home I want?
Do I want to relocate?
What’s my budget?
Why do I want to buy?
Do I need to hire a real estate agent?
You should also ask yourself if you’re mentally and emotionally prepared to move. Not only can it be stressful, but it can stir up a lot of emotions. Self-care is crucial when you’re buying a new house, so make sure to find some time to relax and take care of yourself throughout the process. Go to a movie, light a candle and enjoy a hot bath, or read your favorite book for a few hours. You’ll be glad you did.
Once you’re able to answer all of these questions, you can go into the home-buying process with more confidence and more faith in what you’re doing. Purchasing a new home has to be something you’re sure of, so working out as many personal details as possible, including having a strong understanding of your financial standing, is incredibly important.
Understanding the “Hidden” Costs
Speaking of your financial situation, there are many hidden or unexpected costs that can come up throughout the moving process that you should be aware of. If you’ve created a budget, staying within those parameters will make the process less stressful for you. But you may also need to allow for some wiggle room when it comes to how much you can spend.
Those “hidden” costs start with moving expenses. You might need to hire a company to move larger pieces of furniture for you, or to store things while you move. These expenses can add up quickly, so look for discounts and deductions wherever you can. For example, if you’re relocating and moving for work, you may be entitled to certain tax deductions as long as you report them within a year of your move. Check your state tax code to see what your options are.
Hidden costs can show up at any time throughout the home-buying process, including closing costs. You’ll also have to take into account anything you might have to pay for after the home is purchased. Things like maintenance, property taxes, lawn care, and any add-ons you want to build or buy are things people don’t often consider in their initial budget. Make sure you think about all of the possible costs before you agree to purchase, and you’ll avoid a lot of financial stress later.
Know Before You Close…
You’ve prepared as much as possible, you’ve answered your own questions, and you’re finally ready to close on your new house. But there’s one more thing to consider before you finalize your purchase: What kind of shape is the house in, and what things need to be inspected?
Home inspections are standard and can save you a lot of time, money, and extra stress. A home inspector will look for things like mold or asbestos hiding in the walls of the house. If there are any problems, you can either choose not to buy, or work some kind of agreement into your purchase contract to get rid of it. An inspector can also look at the quality of the roof and the structure of the house, check for radon and lead paint, and make sure everything is safe and secure before you buy.
You can also do your own inspection on top of what a professional inspector gives you. Walk through the house and take note of anything that might need to be fixed or anything you’d like to change. Consider room sizes and the layout, and decide if the house is really the best fit for you.
If you’re considering purchasing a home, don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by all of the “what ifs” and considerations. The more you prepare and the more you pay attention to the details, the easier the process will be. Buying a house is a big commitment, but one you can absolutely enjoy when you take the time to do it the right way.