Buying your first home can be a fun and exciting adventure, and one of the most rewarding purchases you will ever make. But sometimes all the excitement and anticipation gets in the way of good judgment. Here are some thoughts to keep in mind when you are ready to take the plunge into home ownership. Consider them a reality check that will let you know if you are making an emotional decision or practical decision. For first-time home buyers looking to buy Vermont real estate, I offer the following suggestions.
Of course you must like the home and the area where you are going to live. However, it is a bad idea to buy more than you can afford simply because you love the view of Mount Mansfield or the pretty white church on the village green. Consider your finances first, then you can be emotional about your prospective Vermont real estate.
Find out what your bank will loan based on your household income before you start looking at Vermont real estate. There is nothing more deflating than setting your signs on a house, only to find out it will cost over $300 per month more than you anticipated. Get approved for a mortgage loan first, and only look at homes in your price range. Not only is this practical, it also means you won’t be wasting time—yours, the real estate agent’s, and the seller’s.
Budget for more than just the mortgage payment
One of the biggest pitfalls of new homeowners is not planning for other costs. Replacing the roof, fixing a bad water heater, and replacing the dishwasher are normal expenses for homeowners. Understand that you will need to set aside some money each month for home repairs and maintenance. And don’t forget, owning Vermont real estate usually means paying a snow plow bill in winter.
Inspect the home thoroughly
There is nothing wrong with having a good heart and trusting the seller is telling the truth about the home’s condition. There is also nothing wrong with paying for a home inspection to make sure everything is in good working order. Get the home inspection!
Buy at the lower end of your budget
Just because your income will allow you to buy a $275,000 does not mean you should get something that expensive. You might need other things, such as furniture, a vacation, or a truck with a plow for all that beautiful snow. If most of your money goes towards your home, then you will not be able to enjoy life.
When you’re ready to look at Vermont real estate, give me a call at 802-858-9195 or email me. I’ll help you get the house you can afford AND love.