If you think the number of houses getting sold to first-time buyers is dwindling—you'd be wrong. In fact, it's the exact opposite.
2019 was an epic year for real estate sales.
It saw the largest growth of first-time homeowners in the last ten years. In the years leading to it, the numbers have been going up and up. In 2019, there were over two million buyers, proving the industry isn't slowing down in the least.
. . . Which brings us to you.
Are you a new home buyer? What tidbits do you need to know about the process? Before you sign a thing, keep reading.
1. Invest in Sweat Equity
It won't take you long to see the difference between owning a home and renting an apartment. When something goes wrong, there's no calling the landlord—it's up to you to tackle the problem or call a professional.
That aside, apartments don't grant flexibility when it comes to design. On the other hand, your new home is like a blank canvas for you to do as you wish.
What are we getting at here? Well, if you need an upgrade, want to remodel, or desire a value-building renovation, you may want to consider doing it yourself—aka, putting in sweat equity. If you have the mental capacity, the financial means, and even the handiwork to take on a project, you should.
Why? For one, you're bound to save hundreds or thousands of dollars on labor costs, depending on the scope of the update. Another perk is the pride you'll feel at DIYing.
2. Learn About Purchase Agreements
Hint: they're legally binding.
Because of that, it's essential to know everything you can about a real estate purchase agreement—the lingo, the expectations, the process. If there's anything you're uncertain of, it's crucial to ask somebody, like a real estate agent or your attorney, before you sign.
Some of the elements in a purchase agreement include:
A thorough outline of what is (and is not) included in the sale—i.e., appliances, fixtures, etc.
An agreed-upon, specified deposit amount
Any contingencies, such as the home inspection
The terms of the financial agreement
This list is not exhaustive, and it's designed to be transparent. This document lets the seller and buyer have a clear, written understanding of all the terms and conditions, ensuring that everyone is legally protected.
3. Don't Go House-Poor
If you haven't found your dream home yet—wait!
Genuinely consider your financial situation and what you can afford, realistically. Banks are known to offer loans that could buy you something outside of your price range. You may be inclined to take the offer—after all, you're up for a promotion!—but there are obvious caveats to doing so.
You'll need to budget for the home's cost (including those little projects or upgrades on an as-needed basis), your monthly living expenses, home insurance, and more.
It's Time to Say, "Home, Sweet, Home," New Home Buyer!
Luckily (and obviously), you're not the first home buyer—and because of that, there's a wealth of information available to new ones. You don't have to go it alone.
Instead, take the advice of those that have come before you. Hopefully, this insight has helped you get a grip on the process of buying your first home.
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