Really Give Some Thought to What You Can Afford
Just because your checking account will be able to cover the mortgage payment each month doesn’t necessarily mean you can afford a particular house. Many first-time buyers make the mistake of taking on too much house because in the moment, they are super-excited about the purchase, and are convinced they must have the biggest and nicest abode their finances can allow.
But, after awhile, they come to see sacrificing most of their income to their house bothers them a lot more than they thought; all of a sudden, they realize they probably would have been just as happy with a less expensive home. The thrill wears off.
So, when you are thinking about purchasing a home, don’t just base it off of the amount of money for which you get pre-approved. Really comb through your finances, and consider other money matters, such as your savings and retirement funds. Think twice before giving up things you really love, like your yearly trip abroad.
Get Clear on Needs and Wants
There is no such thing as a perfect house, unless of course you have really deep pockets and can buy whatever strikes your fancy. But, with a bit of forethought about your ideal home, you can find something that gets as close as possible.
Really think about what you want and need in a home. What are the non-negotiables? What are the things that would be nice, but are not absolutely necessary? What isn’t important at all?
Be careful of getting carried away with the ‘fun’ stuff at the expense of what is really important, such as a decent distance from your job so you can avoid a nightmare commute. You may be able to easily convince yourself that charming architecture, or an amazing kitchen, will make up for the fact the house is twice as far from your work as you wanted. There is a good chance it won’t make up for it though, and this will become abundantly clear not long after you move in.
If You See a House You Like, Jump on It
This is the biggest purchase you will ever make in your life; you spend a lot of time in your house, and you want to make sure you love the space. So, naturally, you do not feel inclined to buy the first thing you come across. You see a house that seems absolutely perfect, but don’t want to commit until you see what else is out there-maybe you will find something even more perfect. This is understandable.
But, if you follow the little tidbit above about getting clear on wants and needs, you will have a really good idea of your ideal house, and when you come across it, you know it is a smart move to make an offer. It is kind of like falling in love with a dress or pair of shoes at the first store in the mall, but you keep shopping to see if there is something better, and then end up going back to the first one.