Buying your first home is an exciting milestone in your life. Maybe you are a single person looking to put down lasting roots in the community and increase your living space or a couple intending to start a family soon. Whatever the scenario, this is one of the most financially consequential purchases you will ever make.
There are a plenty of things to think about carefully before you sign on any dotted line or reach for your checkbook. A little forethought now could save you lots of regret later.
People want a home they will like for years to come that’s in a good location and has no major structural problems. Most crucially, they want a house they can afford.
Having the right information in hand from the beginning of your search can make it less stressful for you. It might also be more likely that you will pinpoint the house of your dreams. First, try to ask yourself the right questions.
Pointers to remember when purchasing your first home
- Figure out what you can reasonably spend. A useful rule of thumb is to avoid spending more than 30% of your yearly income on expenses associated with a home, including interest and principal on the mortgage. You also need to plan for paying for property taxes, insurance and repairs.
- Decide what matters most to you about location. Do you want to be near your job? How are the local schools? Are you willing to travel to go to your favorite restaurants or to the gym?
- Ask yourself how long you anticipate living in the house.
- Think about having an experienced real estate agent.
- When you look at homes, be analytical. Can the dining room accommodate a growing family? Is there a quiet area for a home office? Do you see problems like water damage that require fixing?
Buying a house, especially for the first time, can be complicated and confusing. If you are a first-time buyer in the Bronx, be sure you understand the legal fine points before making an expensive commitment.