Get control of your debt
Many people out there living life have accrued some type of debt while on their journey. It is most important to get a handle on debt as soon as possible. For Millennials, getting their student debt down should be their number one priority. If you don’t have any, great! The average age of first-time buyers is 33. Borrowers who are in their 30s and 40s have the highest level of student debt of any age group. Adding a mortgage payment to a high student loan debt can be a daunting task. So your student loan should be your number one priority. If you rack up credit card debt then you should focus on learning to live without credit and begin to shift into a more conservative mindset that will allow you to pay off your outstanding credit.
It is possible for someone to purchase a home while repaying debt. Look into refinancing a car loan or student debt now rather than later. Doing so could help lower payments.
Review your rental agreement
If this is your first time buying a house then chances are you are currently renting. High rental prices are the number one reason you should consider purchasing your first home. Timing is everything. Especially in real estate considering how competitive the market can get. Make sure you can get out of your lease contract when you need to. Things move fast in real estate. It would be wise to ask your landlord if you could change to a month to month contract or at least find out how long of a notice your landlord requires before you can pack up and leave. Being proactive in this area can grant you greater certainty about your first home purchase.
Balance your budget
Getting your financial situation under control is always a good idea whether you are buying a home or not. One of the biggest revelations for first time buyers is how many fees that are associated with buying a new home. Make sure that you are able to cover all the costs that come with owning a home. Talk it over with your lender and agent so they can run the numbers for you. Do your due diligence. Have information such as pay stubs, bank account statements, tax filings, W2s and any other information that would affect your financial situation ready to go. This will help you move much quicker when the time comes to make an offer.
Do your research
Never dive in head first into a contract or deal that you do not fully understand. It is also important to know what market you want to buy into. This requires that you give yourself an honest judgement of what type of home you want. Be sure to include your must-haves, calculate commute times, look into schools and proximity to public amenities. Ask your realtor about common bidding strategies in the neighborhoods that you are targeting. It is wise to know if that neighborhood generally sales for over asking price or under asking price, how quickly homes sale on average and whether or not to expect a bidding war are all crucial to making an offer that you are comfortable with.
Patience is a virtue
Market experts such as Zillow, Redfin and Realtor.com believe that 2017 will be the fastest real estate market on record. When the market begins to pick up in the spring and summer months, homes will go quickly. Homes that are in the first-time buyer’s price range will probably sale within a week or so. That is quite fast considering the average home sales in 14 to 21 days. If you are feeling pressure to make a purchase before the interest rates go up any further, just relax. Mortgage rates are expected to remain low compared to historical averages. The most traumatizing mistake a buyer can make is jumping on a home too quickly and then they come to find out that they cannot afford it or they don’t really love the house. Choosing where you live is one of the most important decisions in your life. After all, you will be living there every day so make sure you find a place that you don’t just like but you love. So practice patience and make a decision that you can live with.