Buying your first home might sound easy, but is it? For some people, buying a home might be an intimidating process and an overwhelming one as well. Many times, this is due to lack of information – the more you know the more comfortable you become with certain terminology and procedures. Buying a home, especially a first home, requires preparation – kind of going to “first-time home buyer boot camp” – to make a comparison.
A person thinking about buying his/her first property has to be honest and think about his/her financial status at the moment. This will require an honest look at the finances – income, expenses, bills, financial commitments, lifestyle expenses, and many other areas related with financial health. Are there any savings? Is there enough money for a down payment? The days of zero down payments are gone. Lenders have grown more skeptical after the financial meltdown and foreclosure crisis and are requiring buyers to put a percentage in down payment. Loan approvals are getting tougher.
A person might discover that he/she is not cut to be a homeowner yet, after analyzing his/her lifestyle. Home ownership requires a different type of commitment than renting does. A person might not be ready to leave a particular lifestyle yet – nothing wrong with that, it is a matter of perspective and personal preferences.
A person might discover that there are not enough savings to feel comfortable owning a home in the first year or so. There are always going to be surprises, things will break down, or there might be some aesthetical issues to take care of in the beginning. Bills might be overwhelming as well, and an individual might decide to pay some accounts first, before taking on home ownership. Income might be less than what is required for living in the type of neighborhood the person desires, so he/she will decide to save money for a larger down payment, and obtain a better rate, and lower payments. In addition, there might be credit issues, such as not enough credit established, or certain credit issues in the past – a person might have to work on these issues first, to get a better financing opportunity. These are just a few issues that a person thinking of buying a home may encounter, depending on his/her personal situation.
After a good look at the personal and financial situation, an individual will have to obtain, financing through a good source, at the best rate possible. This will require some education in the matter, familiarizing with terminology, doing some research, and comparing lenders. Thanks to the internet, this is easier than ever, and the internet has become a rich source of information for first time buyers.
After that, there is the issue of finding a real estate professional that will be a good match – a knowledgeable buyer’s agent. Then, it is the realization of finding the right home at the right price in the right neighborhood. Later, the process of going through escrow, finding a lawyer, going through inspections, negotiations of contract, and going to the closing table, will present its own challenges and excitement.
Is buying a home and easy process? Each case is different, each present different challenges, and homebuyers have different attitudes and perception. It is a matter of opinion, knowledge, preparation, attitude, and readiness.