The real estate market is competitive, and getting a new house, especially for new homeowners can take longer than imagined. Before you get a new home, there are a few things you need to consider. And with the right kind of information, the process of acquiring a new home will be less daunting. Here is a rundown of must-haves for your first home purchase.
Homeowner’s Insurance Policy
With a homeowner’s insurance policy, you need to be smart with the kind of choice you make. There are just so many mistakes you might make especially because you are doing something you haven’t done before. The following are a few things to consider before buying an insurance policy.
Look for an Insurer Early
Make sure that you source out for an insurer as soon as you make the decision to look for a house, because the longer you drag finding one, the trickier it will be to get the best one. Starting early will give you the chance to compare different options available and to choose a policy that best suits your needs.
Set Your Priorities
Also, when shopping for your insurance policy figure out what you need most between coverage, the price and service. For example, if coverage is your top priority, then let that be your top priority when looking for an insurance policy. All in all, while you may put more weight on one factor as compared to the others, try to look for an option that has a considerable balance between the three as they are all important.
Think of the Future
Certain property features will have an impact on the type of your insurance needs. Pool, security system, and flood plain, etc will affect your insurance so if you are planning to add a pool in the backyard later or install another feature, do your homework well before purchasing an insurance cover.
One way to pay less for your insurance policy as a first-time homeowner is by bundling your policies. You may not be able to get discounts when buying home insurance for the first time, but by bundling your car and house insurance together, you will get lower rates. Car insurance may be charged higher than normal by the home insurer but overall, you will end up paying lower premiums than when paying the two separately.
Get The Home Inspected
Another phase of homebuying you do not want to skip is an inspection. There are different kinds of inspections you need to consider.
When your potential house is inspected before closing, you will be able to find out what needs repair, and how much more you will need to spend to get it done. This is a great way to negotiate for better prices because if multiple repairs are needed, the prices will definitely be lower.
Also, if you are able to get a great deal than what you had budgeted for, then it means that you will extra cash to cater for repairs and other needs.
Take it from people with experience, Mack Dudayev, Founder of Chance Realty, says this regarding home inspections: “Remember to have a professional do the inspection and make sure that it is a thorough one. You do not want to be left with huge expensive renovations to make after shelling out a huge chunk of money to acquire the house. Be sure to contact a professional to remodel where necessary to avoid substandard work from other unprofessional contractors.”
Environmental inspection is as important as house inspection is. The house may be contaminated from a nearby gas station, landfill or from toxins like molds and asbestos which are common. All these are serious health hazards that you need to deal with before moving into your new house, and skipping environmental inspection may leave you with a big problem to handle in the future. Also, it may be expensive to get such problems fixed in the future so the earlier the better.
If the new house has a pest problem, then you may just have a chance to negotiate prices in case you are still interested with the offer. The last thing you would want is to get an unpleasant welcome from rats, carpenter ants or termites, among other pests. So apart from discounts you might get, you will also be ensuring a pest-free and comfortable environment for yourself.
In some cases, you may not be liable for a homeowner’s insurance. If you are planning to buy a house in an area prone to natural disasters like flooding, earthquakes and so on, there may or may not be provided for homeowner’s insurance and flooding insurance. Make sure to confirm that first before making your purchase. Oftentimes, risks have to be assessed in case of a natural disaster occurrence and hence, there is a need to provide a geologic report or soil report in such areas.
You cannot afford to ignore such an inspection because if you won’t be able to apply for any insurance policy then you won’t be able to apply for a mortgage either.
Space or Location?
Just as with insurance, you need to set your priorities right with the type of house you want and where you want it. Would you prefer a small, pricey house in the middle of the city or would you prefer lowering the budget and get a bigger house upcountry? Is location your priority or is space your most pressing need? Do you want a house located near to your workplace? Or do you prefer a big house regardless of the location?
Also, security and social amenities are some of the biggest factors to consider when buying a house. Once you figure out what you need the most then go ahead and find what options are available. Getting a house for the wrong reasons may force you to resell it a while after buying it.
When it comes to relocating, you may be required to establish legal domicile for the purposes of taxes.
As a first time homeowner, nothing beats the feeling of being handed the keys to your dream house. Acquiring a new house will not happen overnight, it requires a lot of paperwork and days of research to find the right house. The above list is not only essential for a first-time homeowner but entails some of the most important things to consider when getting a new house.