What First Home Buyers Should Know

By shaye • July 10th, 2010

For the majority of people, buying a home will be the biggest investment they will make in their lives. Of course, we are talking about average income families, but even if you have more than one property, chances are that these properties will be your most valuable possessions in terms of money. Given the importance of the investment of your first home purchase, it requires a lot of preparation, research and patience.

Research is paramount when buying your first home, because it can literally determine how happy you and your family will be in your new home. Many people get overly excited when buying their first home and this is understandable. However, this overdose of excitement often leads people to rush in and commit very serious mistakes. You need to control your emotions and go with what your brain tells you.

The advance of the Internet has made searching for a new home a much easier task than it used to be. It allows you to do most of your research online before you go out in the field to look at potential homes. If you are unfamiliar with the area around a potential property, it is a very good idea to read some local press online and look at satellite images and maps of the neighborhood. You will be able to see the proximity of parks, sports facilities, supermarkets, shopping malls, schools, and also factories and other environmental hazards. This will help you determine how safe, healthy and convenient the area is for you and your family.

Make sure to invest the time needed to research a sufficient number of properties. There is no magic formula to tell you how many potential properties you should inspect, as this can largely depend on luck and your specific circumstances. The experience of other buyers, however, suggests that anywhere in the range of fifty to one hundred homes is a solid number. This may seem like an exaggerated statement, but buying your home is a serious enough task to be afforded this effort. Regardless of how many homes you inspect, be sure not to decide to buy the first property you see as this has been proven to be one of the worst mistakes you can make. Even you love the property and eventually decide to buy it, you simply must go out and look at some other opportunities. There is a caveat to this advice, however. Namely, people are afraid that they will lose home to another buyer if they are not quick enough to act immediately. This is a valid fear, but keep in mind that real estate agents and home sellers sometimes purposely make you believe that they have a long list of people just waiting to buy the house in order to trick you into purchasing immediately. You can never know really, but it is always better to be safe than sorry. There are plenty of good homes out there and it is much easier to find another one that you like than to get out of a bad purchase.

You also need to be prepared financially. Calculate all expenses and potential renovation and repair costs in advance for each prospective property. This will help you determine the property’s cost-effectiveness. It is also highly advisable to get a finance approval from your bank beforehand. The seller will see this as a sign of seriousness on your part and may be willing to hold on to a home until you are prepared to buy it. You can also hire an independent expert to visit the property with you to perform a check on the overall condition of the home, i.e. pipes, the pest situation, potential leaks, heating, etc. Furthermore, make sure to obtain a written and signed confirmation from the seller that they are selling the house in exactly the same condition as it was when they showed it to you. You would be surprised to hear some stories of people who bought a house without settling this important matter only to find out that most of the fittings and furniture were removed after the house was sold.

Follow these simple tips and do not leave such an important part of your life to pure chance. In this way, you and your family will have a great time in your new home.

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