As with many life experiences, buying a first home is thrilling, but filled with plenty of moments of fear.
It is normal to feel overwhelmed during the home buying process, and you’ll likely have concerns throughout. However, know that these are completely normal feelings and like many homeowners before you, you will overcome them. These are some of the most common first-time homebuyer fears, and how you can stop them from ruining the wonderful process of buying your first home.
Credit Score and Preapproval
Know what your credit score is, how much your income is, and what your other loans and obligations are, as these will all be required on applications for mortgages. Check out mortgage interest rates to get a feel for what your total cost might be, and then start reaching out to banks to get preapproved. A preapproval letter will clearly show you how much you can get financing for – or how much you can really afford – which will help streamline your search to where it matters. Plus, when you are preapproved, you’ll look more attractive to sellers when you submit an offer than others who haven’t yet confirmed that they are able to pay.
Losing Your Dream Home
The phrase “dream home” gets thrown around a lot, so figure out what it means to you. If your dream home is an eight-bedroom estate and your salary is $60K you’ll probably need to adjust that to something more realistic. Your dream home should be based on things like location, the number of bedrooms you need, property taxes, and yes, even style. Your first home isn’t necessarily your forever home, so be realistic about your situation now.
When you look at a “dream home” in this way, you won’t be as locked into one specific property, as you’ll likely have several options that meet your specifications. That way, should your offer not be accepted on your first choice, you have plenty of backup dream homes ready to consider. And remember, when you move into your new home for the first time, it will become your dream home, so don’t get too hung up on one particular property.
Maintaining Your New Home
A common fear that new homebuyers face is what will come after a home is theirs, so prepare for the cost of maintenance on each property you look at. If you are purchasing a house that might need repairs, what are you looking at spending, and does your budget allow for that amount? It’s also important to look into what the long-term or ongoing costs of your home will be. What are the property taxes? You still need to afford your mortgage payments and be able to pay your taxes, and a nearby neighborhood might have a lower tax rate. What about maintenance costs? Several acres of property sounds glorious, but are you able to pay for someone to maintain your landscaping, or will it fall onto your shoulders?
It’s important to remember that a rule of homeownership is that there will always be unforeseen costs. You want to be sure that you’re not getting in over your head in terms of maintaining your property in the long run.
If you’re ready to get started with the search to find your first home, answer a few questions here and a home lending expert will contact you with available financing options.