One of the biggest achievements as an adult is being able to own a home. For first-time buyers, this can be one of the most stressful times, too. After all, there is so much that goes into buying your first home.
Don’t worry! This list that can help you understand the various ins and outs of home buying, mortgages, costs, and other details. And to top it off, no first-time home buying list would be complete without tips on common home maintenance repairs and the best way to celebrate and welcome family and neighbors to your new house.
Finding the Perfect Home and Understanding Costs, Deposits, and More
When it comes to purchasing a new home, there are a lot of details people often overlook or don’t pay enough attention to, from the fine print on a mortgage to hidden realtor fees.
- You should try to save at least 5 to 20% of the total cost of the home you plan to buy. Example: 5% of a $150,000 home would be $7,500. 20% of a $150,000 home would be $30,000.
- For first-time buyers, there are many home buying programs and other state/local assistance loan programs. Some of these types of programs will allow you to put as little as 3% down (basically, $4,500). However, paying less than 20% for a deposit may mean you end up paying more for a private mortgage insurance or other costs.
- The more you save for a home, the better chance you will have for getting a cheaper mortgage.
Main types of mortgages:
- Fixed-rate: mortgage loans that have the same interest rate throughout the entire repayment of the loan. Basically, you would be paying the same monthly payment throughout the period of either 15 years or 30 years depending on the fixed-rate payment term you choose.
- Adjustable-rate: mortgage loans that will have an adjustable rate of interest. This means you will see years where your payments are fairly low and/or years where they will be fairly high. It will be depending on the interest rate of that year.
- Hybrid adjustable-rate: mortgage loans that start at a fixed rate and then are adjusted after a certain amount of time. An example of this is a 5/1 adjustable mortgage loan. The first five years of the loan will be fixed rate and then afterward will adjust every one year based on current interest rates.
- Application fees
- Attorney fees
- Appraisal fees
- Closing fees
- Courier/mailing fee
- Credit report(s)
- Deposit for property taxes and mortgage insurance
- Home inspection
- Flood insurance for those in a flood zone
- Homeowners Association transfer fees
- Homeowners’ insurance
- Lender’s title policy insurance
- Owner’s policy title insurance
- Pest inspection
- Underwriting fee
- Survey fee
- Property taxes
- Private mortgage insurance
- Lead-based paint inspection
- Prepaid interest
- Transfer taxes
This is not a complete list of costs/fees; some costs may or may not apply depending on where you buy your home, whom you buy from, any loans you may have, and so on. When it comes to costs, make sure you do all your research to determine whether or not a house is the best fit for your budget.
Getting a Feel for Your New Community
Now that you have a basic understanding of what it takes to purchase a home, you can look into communities and properties. To get a feel for what a good community can look like, you can check out the some such as these Sylvan lake homes for sale, or look into other suburban housing areas.
Key things to look for when buying a house are:
- Commute times to and from work
- Local schools (public & private)
- Shopping centers
- Parks and other forms of recreational facilities
- Childcare centers/ daycare
- Local hospital/ clinics/ doctor’s offices
- Police department
- Fire department
- Nearest metropolitan city
- Types of housing in the area (apartment complexes, 55+ housing, low-income housing, etc…)
- Restaurants and other businesses
- Homeowners Associations; many often have restrictions on what you can do with your home and what pets you are allowed to have
When it comes to you and your family, you want to pick the right neighborhood that meets all of your basic needs. You also shouldn’t get caught up on the small changeable details of a home such as paint color, light fixtures, and so on, since these sorts of things can be changed by you later.
Appliance Repair and Home Maintenance
When you buy your home, it is always wise to have money set aside, just in case you need appliance repairs or other types of home maintenance.
Here is a checklist of major home maintenance and appliance repairs to look for:
- Re-caulk your windows
- Check the furnace and HVAC filters
- Check the attic and/or basement for any and all water leaks
- Get your furnace serviced and checked by a professional
- Have any and all fireplaces and chimneys checked and cleaned by a professional
- Check and clean your gutters
- Check any deck areas for moisture damage
- Check and/or repaint your home’s exterior
- Check and make sure your A/C unit is clean and serviced by a professional
- Check to make sure the attic is properly sealed off
- Make sure the electrical wiring and electrical breaker box are working properly
- Repaint the inside of your home and change any light fixtures
- Change the locks on all of your exterior doors
- Make sure any appliances that are bought with the home are working correctly (stoves, refrigerators, washer and dryers, etc.)
- A reliable repair company nearby, such as a this appliance repair service in Bend, Oregon boasts
- Planning and Hosting Your First Housewarming Party
No first-time home purchase would be complete without a party! Why not celebrate this important lifetime achievement with your family, friends, and future neighbors.
Steps to getting your house ready for your housewarming party:
1.) Prep your home! Plan where you will want your guests, how many guests are coming, and what your party theme will be. Make sure your home is clean and presentable.
2.) Make your invitations. Making your own invitations will save you money and help determine how many people will show up to your party.
3.) Prepare plenty of finger food and party favors in advance for all of your potential guests. A fun housewarming party also wouldn’t be complete without party favors from a company like Premier Glow which sells glow sticks, confetti cannons, and other novelty items for kids.
4.) Create a playlist your guests will enjoy.
5.) Have a guestbook for everyone to sign with contact information and any tips about the neighborhood or local area.
6.) Designate a greeter to welcome everyone.
7.) Plan fun activities such as dancing, swimming, or a cookout.
8.) Don’t forget to write thank you notes for all the guest who came, as well as for any gifts they may bring.
9.) Have fun, and enjoy your new home!