Home and Family

What Young Parents Should Know Before Becoming Homeowners

Buying your first home as young parents is an exciting step in life. You finally have a stable job and you will soon have a place to call your own. It’s got to be exciting to finally be putting your money towards something you can own rather than on an apartment rental. Since it is your first time going through the home buying process, there are a few things that you should know.

Get Pre-Approved

Before going out and looking at homes, you should get yourself pre-approved for a home loan. This pre-approval will let you know how much your lender is willing to give you based on your income and credit history. Not getting pre-approved could cause you to waste a lot of time. You may spend a lot of time looking at homes that are well outside what your lender is willing to give you. Sometimes, houses have multiple interested buyers. If you are pre-approved for a home loan, you will be able to make a quicker offer. Overall, it will be much easier and faster to purchase a home with a pre-approval.

Find a Good Agent

Real estate law is risky business. The last thing that you want to deal with is some sort of legal loophole that causes you grief down the road. It isn’t a requirement to use a real estate agent to purchase your property, but it is a good idea. Your real estate agent is licensed by the state to assist you in the buying process. They will be able to help you negotiate the contracts and avoid common pitfalls. If you’ve bought property before, you may be able to get away with not using an agent. However, for your first time, you should probably use one. You can use google reviews to find yourself an agent that is hardworking and honest.

Think of Added Costs

As you are budgeting for your home purchase, you need to think of more than just the cost of the home. You may need to have the home inspected. If there is damage or unfinished sections of the home, you may want to set aside money for the home’s improvement. There will also be closing costs. Closing costs include fees related to the legal processing of the transition of ownership of the home. You will also need to consider the cost of homeowner’s insurance.

Plan for the Future

It’s important that you get the right home for you. Think about how many kids you plan on having. Then plan out how many rooms you need based on that number. You may think that your kids can share a room, but you may find out later that this is an unpleasant situation if they can’t get along. Even if the home you’re considering doesn’t quite meet your desires, you could still make it work. Consider possibilities for renovations and expansions of the home. These could be accomplished in a few years with a home equity loan.

Build a Custom Home

If you’re not finding a home that fits your wants and needs, consider a custom home. There are benefits to building a custom home over buying one already built. You can make the home exactly how you want it. There may be some limitations based on local HOA rules and city building laws, but that shouldn’t interfere with your plans too much. You may even find that you are able to save money by building a custom home.

Mother-in-Law Apartments

One thing that many people overlook is the advantage of having a mother-in-law apartment. A mother-in-law apartment is a section of the home that can function as an apartment independent of the rest of the house. They usually are found in the basement or above the garage. The advantage to these apartments is that you can turn a portion of your house into a source of income. This will greatly offset the cost of your home’s mortgage. Just make sure that you investigate the laws regarding rental apartments. You don’t want to end up in a sticky situation with a bad tenant.

Neighborhood

One very important factor to consider about the home that you choose is the quality of the neighborhood. You want a place that will be safe for you and your kids. Look for a place that has kids of a similar age to yours. This will give them a chance to play and make friends. Do an internet search for the crime rates in the neighborhood. You may even want to see if there are any sex offenders living nearby. Ask some of your neighbors about problems with gangs or drugs. Many of these things can cause serious harm to your family, and a nicer home may not be worth the risk.

Education

As young parents, you want the future of your children to be bright. Much of their future success will depend entirely on their ability to get a good education. Look critically at the schools that they will be attending. Take note of the advanced classes that they offer and the type of extracurricular activities available. Are the schools well maintained? Do they have a good teacher to student ratio? Are the teachers well qualified and able to manage children well? If the public schools aren’t good, consider private ones nearby. As a last resort, you could homeschool your children.

Maintenance

Hopefully, the home that you choose to purchase is in good condition. Unfortunately, it won’t stay that way on its own. A home requires a lot of maintenance. You need to be prepared to perform that maintenance or have the funds to pay someone else to do it. Remember that the larger the home, the more effort it is going to take to keep it clean. You may wish to simplify your life with a smaller place rather than a larger one.

As you go looking for a home, try to stay grounded on the features of the home that are important to you. You can always upgrade to a larger, fancier home later in life. Don’t fall prey to sales tactics that try to convince you to buy a home that is outside your budget.

Read this next: 3 Key Factors That Can Make Moving to Your New Home Run Smoothly

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