Are you in the market for a house for your would-be family? Are you looking for real estate tips that will ensure you make the best buy? Then you’ve come to the right place. Here we discuss the nitty-gritty when it comes to landing your first home.
Focus on a starter home
A starter home is a stepping stone of sorts. Its goal is to provide your budding family a basic home that caters to all of your needs. Usually, families stay in their starter homes for seven years, give or take.
Just because you won’t live in your starter home for good does not mean you should sacrifice comfort. Remember that you are trying to raise a family, and during this stage, you want things to be as smooth sailing as possible. And the physical space you inhabit directly affects family dynamics, so do keep that in mind.
Set your non-negotiables. For example, how many bedrooms do you need? Is access to public transport a priority? Do you need a place that’s close to work? Are there good primary or preparatory schools in the area? The last consideration is of the utmost importance given you will soon have school-age kids.
When hunting for your first home, you must already look into the future. Sure, your starter home is temporary. But it’s your introduction to the real estate market. And your goal is to build equity from your purchased property.
According to Investopedia, home equity is “the value of a homeowner’s interest in their home. In other words, it is the real property’s current market value (less any liens that are attached to that property).” If you’ve built enough equity from your starter home, chances are you will afford something grander for your next real estate buy.
So choose a property which you deem promising. Although you’re saving money, do not gamble on a property that can potentially tank in the market and give you no earnings in the end.
Do your research
A quick Google search will inform you about current listings. You will also know the price trends in the market.
Here’s a piece of advice, though: do not let yourself be taken by an affordably-priced house online that looks like your dream home. Normally, sellers do this trick. They post an initial low price for their property, confident in the bidding war that will inevitably ensue.
Work with a professional
Yes, there’s Google. But Google can’t substitute a real estate agent that has years of experience in the industry. Working with a professional will afford you sage advice on how to go about the process.
For example, if you’re looking for a house in San Francisco but cannot afford any of the current listings (median houses in San Francisco are listed at $1.7 million), your broker can suggest adjacent neighborhoods that might work for you. So listen to your agent. They know and mean well.
Now that you’re in on the secrets of real estate shopping, the next order of business is knowing when it’s time to buy. Keep in mind that timing is key. Carefully plotting your move can spell the difference between paying for an overpriced property and getting a considerable markdown.
According to a market analysis from Zillow, springtime is where the real estate market is inundated with listings. That means you’ll have options galore. It also means tough competition. If your end goal is saving money, the best months to buy is between July and October.
It’s up to you whether you want to wait or dive into the process pronto. Regardless of your choice, happy house hunting!