Buying a home can feel like you’re making a huge step forward in your life, but you’ll quickly realize there’s a steep learning curve to keep up with everything that’s necessary to keep above water as a homeowner.
These are the top things nobody tells people shopping for their first home, and why it’s a good idea to know them.
Although you may have found a home that’s low in your budget, with cheaper monthly payments than your rent was, it’s not necessarily going to be cheaper to live in than an apartment would be. When you buy a home, you have to pay property taxes, which can now be split up into monthly payments; you have to take care of homeowner’s insurance, pay for any maintenance and take the time to replace and update anything necessary. In the end, even a cheap home is more expensive than a pricey apartment.
In the summer and fall, you might just want to lounge around and relax, enjoying perfect weather: but if you’re a homeowner, you’ll lose a couple of hours every week to maintaining your lawn and grass. In the summer, you’ll have to cut, water, and maintain your yard- and in the fall, countless leaves can make raking a biweekly appointment.
If you’re in the northern states, you’ll also have to handle incredibly large amounts of snow.
When you buy a property, you’re investing hundreds of thousands of dollars into your future. Many would hope this gives them complete freedom over their house, letting them do whatever they want to do. Unfortunately, an HOA can have more say over the property’s visual choices than you’d like. This can include things like what color siding you can use, what style of windows you can pick, and even what kind of mailbox is allowed. Although your home still belongs to you, and this is an attempt to keep property prices high: it can still be frustrating.
Although the big steps to buying a house are all about the eventual payout of selling it later: you can gain some use of the money you’ve put into it before you sell your home. The equity is useful after about ten years and allows you to get the most out of your property.
When the home you’re buying goes under contract, there’s a gap of time when you need to get it looked at and ensure it has everything you need or want. This is also a time to renegotiate the deal and try to make a good decision on a property. Unfortunately, if an inspection is bad, many buyers think their only choice is to try to renegotiate. It’s okay to back out of a deal if it’s too much work or needs too many repairs.
When you’re ready to buy your first house, it’s important to take the time to plan how your life will look like as a homeowner: and be realistic about it. These are some things many new homeowners don’t realize, but you should become familiar with!
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