Trouble Pulling the Trigger? Here’s How to Commit to Homeownership
You’ve saved for a down payment. You’ve pored over the local listings for months. Touring open houses has become part of your weekend ritual. But months, perhaps years, have passed and you are still in your rental.
For many first-time homebuyers, pulling the trigger on a purchase can be a frightening experience. Will you be happy there? Will you like your neighbors? Will you be tied down—house rich and cash poor? What if you lose your job? Will you hate your commute? In short, your fears stem from the unknown. Meanwhile, your current home is familiar. You’ve come to accept its shortcomings—the loud neighbors, the leaky ceiling, the scant street parking. It has few surprises.
Take the eternal home shopper who looks for years. Homes come on the market, sell, and then can be resold a second time. While the wait continues, home prices continue to rise.
People often hesitate to make the ‘biggest purchase of their life’ because they fear they will make a ‘bad investment’ and pay too much. Sometimes people lose sight of the fact that they are looking for a place to live instead of just an investment. Still, there’s hope. Your family, friends and co-workers took the leap and are reaping the benefits. Give these steps a try and you could be one of them:
Firm Up Your Finances Anticipate the new costs that you will incur, such as taxes, homeowners insurance, utility bills and commuting. This will help determine the maximum price you can spend on a house. If your daily budget will change with a new home, consider a trial run living on that budget for a few weeks, to make sure you can. Enlisting the help of a financial expert will give you an objective view of your finances. Remember, the first year is the most difficult. After that you will begin receiving tax benefits.
Partner With an Agent
Even though the Internet gives you access to endless amounts of market information, don’t be tempted to go it alone. Instead, interview several real estate agents and find one you like who listens to you. He or she can line up properties to view, answer many of your questions and make connections for you in your new community. Agents often have the inside track on new properties just coming on the market.
Accept Some Risk Realize that there is uncertainty in everything, but no matter what happens, you will deal with it. Ask family and friends about their experiences and learn from them. Be sure to keep some cash reserves in the bank as a safety net. And remember, you have homeowner’s insurance for a reason.
Fine Tune Your ‘Must-Haves’
Is there a community that you absolutely must live in? Are you adamant about a garage, a fireplace or a finished basement? Make your list of what’s vital. You may find that you are willing to sacrifice one feature if the rest are fabulous. If you are not crazy about the house, don’t bid. It’s important that you love it at the outset.
Be Ready to Bid
Regardless of the market, great houses do not stay available for long. One open house can lead to three offers. If you love it, be ready to make your best offer. If you are wavering, ask yourself, “How will I feel if I don’t get this house?” You might just get it, and if not, at least you will know you tried.
Reap the Reward Owning a home can be one of the most exciting and satisfying things you will do in your life. It’s an investment that can pay you personal dividends as well as financial benefits.
Author:Darik Steinbach Phone: 952-239-4290 Dated: September 24th 2014 Views: 163 About Darik: I have been selling residential real estate in Minneapolis full time for 10+ years.
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A home is not a home because of its room dimensions or the color of the walls. It is about how you feel when you walk through the front door, and the way you can instantly envision your life unfolding there.
This is about more than real estate. It is about your life and your dreams.
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Thank you for spending the time in getting me into my new home! And for putting up with apprehensive me during the process. I am happy in my new townhome and although still getting settled in, I am enjoying it. Again, thank you for your knowledge of knowing how to put it all together with selling & buying. Everything worked as you said it would!