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What You Didn’t Know About Buying a New Home

Many first-time home buyers jump into a new home without really knowing what they are getting into. But that’s okay.

We’ve all had to learn the ins and outs of buying a home and what home ownership entails. However, there are few things you might want to consider before jumping into home ownership. They are not bad things, necessarily, just things that you may not have thought of until after you’ve bought your first home.

  • Compare prices in the neighborhood

    Make sure you’re paying a fair price for your home by comparing prices in the surrounding neighborhood for similar homes. And make sure that you’re not basing your price on figures that are more than 6 months old. A house may look like it’s worth $200,000, but if the one next door sold for $150,000, you may want to negotiate. And in today’s market, fluctuations are happening so rapidly that you can’t rely on numbers that are much older than 6 months.

  • Pre-qualify

    Pre-qualifying for a home loan will streamline the home buying process and give you a real idea of what you can spend (with the inclusion of insurance, taxes, etc.). And if you end up having to bid on a home with other buyers, the fact that you are pre-qualified will automatically make your deal more attractive to sellers.

  • Property tax

    If you’ve only lived in apartments before, you may not have any idea that your property taxes will be rolled into your monthly mortgage payment, raising your monthly fee (possibly) hundreds of dollars. When you are looking at homes, find out what the property taxes in the area are, so you’ll have a better idea of your monthly payment on a potential home.

  • Yard work

    If you are buying a home with a yard for the first time you may not realize the time and effort that you’ll have to put into maintaining the lawn and property. You’ll probably have to buy a lawnmower and may need to install sprinklers, keeping in mind that watering your lawn will result in a higher water bill. And if you live in an area with an HOA, you may be required to fix problems with your property immediately or face legal action.

  • Maintenance

    Apartment living is easy—a pipe breaks, you call the manager; the A/C goes out, call the manager; leaky roof, call the manager. But when you are a homeowner, all these issues are your own, and they can add up. Make sure that your income is enough to cover your mortgage as well as monthly (yes, monthly) maintenance costs you will incur in your new home.

  • Tax credits

    Apartment living is easy—a pipe breaks, you call the manager; the A/C goes out, call the manager; leaky roof, call the manager. But when you are a homeowner, all these issues are your own, and they can add up. Make sure that your income is enough to cover your mortgage as well as monthly (yes, monthly) maintenance costs you will incur in your new home.

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