The Roadmap to Purchasing Your First Home
Buying a home is one of the most expensive purchases you'll make in your life. This is why 30 years mortgages are offered. This is also why it's important to make the right choices before, during and after your home buying process is complete.
1) You must prepare yourself mentally, emotionally and financially. It's a long process but also an expensive process. Once you know how much you can afford on a house, creating a budget is imperative. Many financial advisors recommend the 50/30/20 rule. 50% of your income for fixed costs that don’t vary much each month, like mortgage or rent, utilities, car payments, and monthly dues or subscriptions; 30% for variable expenses, like groceries, gas, entertainment and hobbies; and 20% toward long-term financial goals, such as retirement plans and emergency funds.
2) Once you establish how much you can afford on a house and you find one that's within your budget, get an inspection!!! Do research on different inspection companies and find one you're comfortable with. Homes are sold in Texas "as is", so they'll always have something wrong with them (unless it's a newly constructed home), but don't freak out. You'll want to focus on the major issues like roofs, Hvac, foundation, electrical, plumbing, etc. Inspections cost a few hundred dollars ($300 - $400) so be sure you are able to spend that amount without it affecting you too much just in case you and the seller still can't come to an agreement on repairs and pricing.
3) After you've negotiated pricing and repairs, perform a final walk-through before closing. The final walk-through enables you to make certain the property is in the condition in which you agreed to buy it—any negotiated repairs have been made, and nothing has happened to the house since you last saw it. Once closing and funding are complete and you've move into your new home, don’t feel like you have to furnish every room in your home with new stuff. Add new things gradually as your budget can afford. This way, you can control your spending as well as the level of debt you take on.
There are many rewards (and challenges) to buying a first home. However, New Texas Realtor is here to support you in every step of the way.