Purchasing your first home together can be incredibly exciting and stressful, especially if you each have different preferences. You’re about to make the largest purchase of your life together and there’s a lot to consider. Here are some tips to help you through the process.
- What are your current priorities?
This will depend on what stage in life you’re at and how long you plan on staying in the house. Do you plan on being child-less for a while or are you looking to expand soon? This will make a difference of the amount of house you actually need.
- Location, location, location.
City or suburbs? What’s important to you? Do you want a short commute to work? Are good schools important? How about property taxes and crime rates? These are all very good things to consider before you start looking at properties.
- Research and discovery.
Here’s the fun part! This is the time when you start pouring over home magazines, new listings and go to open houses. Doing this will give you an idea of what’s out there and what you like and dislike. Consider making lists of what you can and can’t live without and compare your lists, talking about the similarities and differences and how to meet in the middle to both be happy.
Consider your credit. You can either work together to improve your joint credit or if one partner’s credit is significantly better than the other’s, it may make sense to put the mortgage under just one name. Make sure to get prequalified before looking so you know what financial parameters you’re working with. Establish a figure you’re comfortable with and stick to it.
- Find a good agent.
It’s important to find a good real estate agent as a first time homebuyer. The agent will be a huge help in educating you about the neighborhoods and the process of purchasing a home.
- Be ready to act.
Home sales can go fast in certain markets. You want to be ready to make an offer if you find a property you love. Keep your financials clean and in order and don’t make any large purchases when looking to buy a home.