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To Buy Or Not To Buy: 4 Essential Tips For Prospective Homeowners

After years or renting and crashing at other people’s places, you are finally ready to be a homeowner. You know the benefits of owning a home, but are you aware of the risks? Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in life, so don’t screw it up by not doing your research right. New houses are not like new cars; they cannot be exchanged if something’s not right. To avoid ruining your financial future with an ill-suited purchase, check out these important tips for first-time buyers:
1. Mortgages are not the only cost of a house
You will spend a good amount of financial resources on securing a mortgage and paying it back. However, this is not the only expense of owning a home. Once you buy a house, you will need to pay property taxes. It’s too risky to own a home without insurance. Plus, you will have to pay your own utility bills and any renovation costs that accrue over time. Don’t buy unless your income can handle this sort of expenditure assault.
2. Houses vs. residence apartments
When most people are ready to own property, they compare prices for houses. It makes sense to buy a house if you are planning to start a family. But, you should also consider if residence apartments are better suited for your needs. If you work in a city and plan to have children attend school in a city, it could be more cost effective to buy a high-rise apartment, instead of a two-storey house 100 miles away. So don’t leave out flats and condos when you begin house hunting.
3. Brokers are okay, to an extent
You might probably want to hire a real estate broker to find a great property that you’ll love. Cities, especially, are overrun by brokers and agents on the prowl for first-time buyers. As in any industry, not all brokers are good. You’d want to avoid ending up paying a hefty sum for a fly-by-the-night agent who disappears with your hard-earned money. So check your broker’s credentials with the local authorities. Most municipalities require brokers to have a license. Ask to see the ID, and check the expiration date. If a broker charges you to show around a property, find someone else.
4. The neighborhood is everything
No house is worth it if the neighborhood is bad. A bad neighborhood doesn’t only mean an area overrun by shanties with a sky-high murder rate. You should consider the facilities available in any neighborhood. How long is the commute to your office, is public transportation adequate, are there retail stores close by, are the sort of questions you should ask. Don’t just think in terms of your current needs, think to the future. If you have kids, can they get to school easily without a hassle, and so on. Don’t rush when it comes to buying a home.
These tips are simple, but they’ll save you a world of trouble if you pay close attention. Don’t hesitate to get advice from friends and family, and copiously research online buying guides. Hopefully, you will find a home of your own without a single pitfall.