Buying a home is probably the biggest financial move you’ll ever make. It’s also a decision that will impact you for years to come in various aspects of your life, so it’s naturally something you’ll want to plan thoroughly.
Sticking to your home-buying budget can feel nearly impossible: statistics state that more than 60% of Americans regret their financial decisions when it comes to property. If you have a tighter budget that you need to stay within, here are a few tips that can help you to do so.
Choose a More Affordable Area
Housing markets can differ vastly from state to state and even from city to city. You might have your heart set on someplace dreamy, like NYC, but keep in mind that a location like that will hike up the prices more than you might even imagine. Instead, if you’re trying to stay within a tight budget, consider hunting in cheaper areas.
For example, check out North Carolina real estate for more affordable housing than you’d find in some other states.
Prioritise Your Down Payment
Your down payment is a big decision and there are pros and cons to a larger down payment that you’ll need to think about and apply to your personal finances. A 20% down payment isn’t a necessity, but it will obviously reduce your monthly mortgage payments and limit the amount of cash you’ll be paying interest on.
For some people, this is a much better financial decision. It might be best to save up a little while longer for a bigger down payment in order to be able to save monthly in the long run. However, you’ll need to assess your own financial needs to make this decision.
Know Your Limits
It’s common for people to push their budget when house hunting “just a little” for the sake of a bigger yard, a nicer kitchen, or a better location. Be sure to set an absolute limit that you know you cannot go beyond and rather try to negotiate down if you fall in love with a place that costs more than your budget.
Remember that purchasing a home with a few issues here and there doesn’t mean you’ll be stuck with them forever. There are plenty of affordable home improvements you can make, and you’ll be able to save over time to improve the problem areas.
Work With Professionals
Working with a realtor to buy a house is usually a good idea, especially for first-time buyers. They’re experienced and qualified professionals in the field who understand the market, the pricing in the area and how to negotiate effectively.
A realtor will not only be able to help you find an ideal home within your price range, but also manage the financial negotiations, offers and other conversations that you might feel a little overwhelmed by. If you decide to work with an estate agent, be sure to find someone you trust and who really knows their stuff.