Buying your first house is most likely the largest and most nerve-wracking transaction of your life.  From getting approved for a mortgage loan to searching for a place that feels like home, purchasing a residence is stressful.

Tips for home buyers

Here are 4 tips for first-time home buyers to help you avoid common pitfalls in house hunting.

Evaluate Your Lifestyle

Are you ready?  Do you have stable income?  What are your current monthly expenses?  Are you willing to stay put for awhile?  Are you prepared to tackle home maintenance and repairs?

Until you’re ready to buy a house, you’re probably better off renting.  Your age or current housing market trends don’t matter.   The American dream becomes a nightmare if you purchase a house before you are ready.

Set a Budget

Have you scoped your neighborhood?  Have you considered other locations to look at and compare prices?

Begin the process by examining your area for houses for sale.  This gives a good idea of how much bang you get for your buck.  It is difficult to determine if you are getting a good deal unless you know the local market.

Use an online mortgage calculator to compute possible monthly payments. Set a realistic budget so that you will not end up “house poor” and unable to meet other financial obligations.

Distinguish Needs from Wants

Can you afford the features and benefits you want in a home?  Can you manage to pay for your ideal location?  Are you willing to compromise to meet your budget?  You may want a spare bedroom, but how much extra are you willing to pay for it?

Make a wish list and determine which features are most important to you. Is it space or location? Is a big yard a necessity or a luxury?

Keep an Open Mind

How open are you toward making cosmetic changes?
Don’t turn up your nose at a great house because the paint color is hideous or the carpet is ugly. These things are easy fixes, so don’t let them keep you from seeing the house of your dreams.

Purchasing your first home is intimidating but it doesn’t have to be as stressful with proper planning and evaluating. Keeping these helpful tips in mind, will ensure purchasing a new residence won’t be as daunting.

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