So you’re new to shopping for a house. Hopefully you’ve read my other posts on first time home buying. You can read them here and here. We’re going to assume you already got pre-approved for your loan and know what price range you’re looking in. You can either find an agent or a house next, I would suggest an agent first. Reason being is a good realtor often will be able to find or know of some off market properties. By this I mean a home owner isn’t interested in actively searching for a buyer but if one came along and offered the right price they would sell.
Now you’ll probably want to stick to properties that are on the market first because the sellers are more motivated and are more willing to negotiate. The off market homes are a back up incase nothing else fits your needs.
Sorry for that two paragraph side note, I got distracted. Back to the topic of this article, picking the right house for you. There are some things you want to keep in mind when purchasing your first house. You can always sell it later and move into something bigger or more suited for your future needs. So instead of renting until you can buy the home you ultimately want and cant afford right now you should buy something.
The great thing about buying a starter home is, unlike renting, your mortgage payments will build you equity which you can later use when you buy your dream home. There’s two ways to go about this, you can sell the first home and use your equity to help buy the new one. Or if you’ve lived in the first home long enough and have a higher tolerance for risk you can pull the equity out of your first home, rent it out and buy the home you want. That something you should not decide on by yourself and your unique situation should be taken into consideration, I would talk over your option with your realtor when the time comes.
There are a couple of things you want to think about when you do go out and look though and they’re probably pretty obvious but this article is about buying your first home so I’ll say them anyway. You want to figure out how many bedroom and bathrooms you realistically need, do you really need to have 3 or 4 bedrooms if its just you and your significant other? Also you want to consider the area is it safe, close to work, what kind of people live/ are moving to the area? Do you think it will positively or negatively affect home values 5 years from now?