As your number one Western Pennsylvania Real Estate Team, I want to ensure you that you have nothing to fear when it comes to buying a home. I could say that repeatedly and yet most of you won’t take my word for it. However this blog is about easing the common fears first-time homebuyers or even veteran homebuyers may have about buying a home.
- Unpredictable Economy Fears
Contrary to what you might believe, bad times with the economy sometimes present great opportunities to buy. There will always be critics that claim the next big economic collapse is coming. The truth is, according to netplaces.com, stocks have more bearing on the economy than home prices. Home prices do rise and fall, but not as abruptly as stocks do. While I believe you should watch the economy, don’t let it completely dictate when you are going to buy a home.
- Financial Worries
The first fear ties nicely into the second fear. Are you really worried about the national economy or are your more worried about your own financial issues? There are often three big things that people worry about when it comes to financial issues about buying a home and they are:
Applying for a home loan may be considered the scariest part of the home buying process. However most people forget that there are a number of types of loans to help with this process. If you find a lender you can trust, no matter how good or bad your credit actually is, they’ll work with you. This is one instance where you should really watch the economy because only if the nation is in some really terrible economic situation, is when you might have a little trouble finding a loan that works for you.
2. Down Payments
Because of the increasing number of student loans that most first-time homebuyers face, the 20% down is no longer the norm for down payments. According to netplaces.com and realtor.com there are some programs that either cover down payments and closing costs completely or make it so the buyer only has to put down 0-3% instead of 20%. However this is something you should discuss with your lender because sometimes if you put down a low down payment your monthly payment will be higher. There are also inspection fees, attorney’s fees, loan fees, appraisal cost, and title search that are considered closing costs. These are all things that you need to consider and make sure you can afford before you go into the home buying process.
Many potential homebuyers worry that they can’t afford their dream home after it’s too late. This is extremely unlikely because there are two people that are watching out for you: your lender and your real estate agent. Most lenders will make sure that you can make your monthly payments because; after all it is their money. Also, most real estate agents will not show you a home that’s out of your price range.
- Fear of Buying the Wrong Home
Many homebuyers have a checklist of what they want and will only buy a home if it has every item on their list. Others have no idea of what they want and therefore avoid the process completely. This is again where your real estate agent can help. If you do have a checklist of things your home needs – to be in the city, have a good school district, large backyard, etc. – you should definitely remember to keep an open mind. You need to remember that your agent only has your best interest at heart. If your ideal home is in the city but they suggest a home that’s in the suburb of that city, keep an open mind and go see it anyway; it may be exactly what you’re looking for despite that one little alternative of being in a suburb. If you have no idea what you want this is where you need to do some research. If you’re just starting out, you probably want a home with a few bedrooms so you have the option of starting a family. If you already have a family started but want to continue to grow it’s probably best to go a little bigger. Just because it doesn’t have all the checkmarks of your dream home, remember that this is reality.
- Maintenance and Repair Fears
While many people have a hobby of “flipping houses”, or buying houses that need a lot of fixes and flipping them into a beautiful home, others do not have the patience for it. Remember that there are many people here to help you with this as well. It’s also smart to hire a home inspector before you make the final purchase. Other people that you may have forgotten about that are always there to help include: your family members, neighbors, and local hardware store exports. Consult family members that already have bought a home if you’re unsure about how to fix a certain leak or plumbing issue; they’ll know special tricks you may not have thought of before. Asking advice on the best hardware stores and solutions to your leaky faucet for example, is a great way to make a new neighbor as a friend. It shows that you value their opinion and hopefully that trust will lead to a new friendship.
Like every big life decision this process is not one that should be rushed. It takes time and research. Research or ask trusted family members and friends about finding the right lender, and real estate agent that would be a good match for you. Hopefully after reading this article I have eased some of your fears and gained your trust enough for you to consult me in your real estate search.
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Until Next Time,