Guest blogger: Brooke Balco, Communications Specialist
It’s that time of year. Time for tricks, treats, and haunted houses. Owning your first home, which hopefully won’t be haunted, is undoubtedly one of life’s biggest and momentous accomplishments. Although a decision this big may seem frightening to some, when you lay out a solid plan and come to the table prepared – there’s really nothing to be scared about!
“Today’s market presents an excellent opportunity for first time buyers,” said Fran Broude, our president and COO. “The key to a smooth process is for buyers to have a good sense of their financial situation before starting their search.”
According to the 2013 National Housing Pulse Survey by the National Association of Realtors, Americans overwhelmingly believe owning a home is a good financial decision, so why do so many people that are financially prepared to purchase a home continue to rent? Taking the plunge for the first time often seems scary, and it does take time, preparation and education, but the payoff can be well worth it. Once a plan is in place, the rest is smooth sailing!
Here are the 5 key tips to guide you towards a successful home purchase:
- Finances Don’t Lie. Buying a home doesn’t make sense for everyone, but if you’re financially fit to make the investment you should act sooner than later while it’s still less expensive to buy than rent in most cities around the country. Although mortgage rates and home prices have risen slightly over the past month, they are still well below normal.
- Mix Business with Emotions. Purchasing a home is not only a financial decision, it’s a very emotional decision. Will buying a new home benefit you personally? If so, begin to think about what kind of home you want to build a future in. Since this is a long-term decision it is best to consider where you see your life 5-10 years down the road and what makes sense in terms of location, price, and size.
- Look to the Future. A home purchase is an investment, so it’s important to keep in mind the earning potential down the road. Do your research to determine up and coming neighborhoods that are planning for redevelopment and you may find yourself capitalizing in years to come.
- You’re Not Alone: Consult your real estate agent throughout the process. Your Realtor is the expert, with both knowledge and experience, so they are in the perfect position to advise you on this matter. The best agents are not merely negotiators; they are trusted counselors to their clients.
If you’re still on the fence, reach out to a real estate professional to learn how home ownership can be a treat, not a trick to be afraid of.