Are you tired of renting or want another home that will better accommodate your family’s needs? Buying a home can be a daunting task, especially if it is your first time. A 2017 report from the National Association of Realtors® found that 35% of Americans who purchased a home last year were first-time buyers. If you are a novice to the buying experience, you do not need to go into the process blindly. Consider these three valuable tips for buying your first home:

1. Determine Your Goals

The first step in buying your first home is to determine what you want. If you have a partner or have children, make your list together. The basic question is how much space you need, and how many rooms, bathrooms, etc. Other things to consider are floor plans and if you want a detached garage, an attic, or a basement. Write down the amenities you want for your new place, like central air, gas or electric power, and bonus rooms.

Where your new home is located is crucial, so decide what area is best for you. Do you want to live in a neighborhood where the houses are close and yard work is minimal, or do you prefer a rural area with a lot of land and space? It may take some time to complete a “want” list, and there will be compromises within your family. Afterward, you will have the general idea of what you consider acceptable.

2. Get Your Finances In Order

Now that you know what type of house you want, you must consider what you can reasonably afford. An article from recommends that you have a mortgage that is no more than 35% of your monthly income. In this equation, you must also include property taxes and insurance premiums. After you do the math, you will get an approximation of how much you can afford to finance for a home.

When you fill out a loan application, the lender will consider your credit score and your debt-to-income ratio. Once a year, you can request free copies of your credit score from the three leading credit agencies; otherwise, you must pay for copies. Your debt-to-income ratio subtracts your total debt from your total income. The remaining total represents how much money you have leftover to pay a mortgage. If your ratio is too high, you may not qualify for a home loan, or you may get one with an exorbitant interest rate.

If these numbers are a problem, you may need to wait until your financial situation improves before you consider a mortgage. Paying off as many debts as you can helps both scores. You may also consider talking to a credit counselor or financial advisor for assistance.

3. Professional Help For Buying Your First Home

While many first-time homebuyers have successfully purchased their property on their own, it can be risky business, warns Real estate laws are complicated and vary among states. You may encounter a legal issue that could jeopardize everything you own. Why not leave the task to a professional realtor or a real estate attorney? These experienced professionals know the ins and outs of the real estate market and can advise you accordingly. Any money that you pay in fees is well worth avoiding a colossal legal battle.

Buying your first home is an exciting milestone in your life. With some careful planning and professional advice, you’ll likely find the home you have always wanted. If you take time to decide what you want and carefully consider your options, the process can be much easier for everyone involved.

When buying a new home, especially your first home, you should hire a certified home inspector before making your final decision. Contact Inspectrum Data Services to book a home inspection in Northern Virginia.

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