First Time Home Buyers Guide

Evanston Homes for Sale

When you’re ready to buy your first home, things can get complicated. Buying a home is a big financial decision that often takes longer than you might expect. You can help make the process easier if you take some time to research home buying options and make sure you are taking the right steps.

Buyers looking for their first home should take the time to research how the area they are interested in will be affected by development and zoning regulations. 

Learn tips on how to get a home loan, what to do when purchasing a new home, and how to keep your investment from being damaged by property taxes.

What To Ask Yourself Before Buying

Determine what your long-term goals are and how homeownership fits into those aspirations. In another way, perhaps you’re looking to turn all those “wasted” rent payments into mortgage payments that give you equity. 

Whatever your reasons for wanting to be your landlord, it’s a good idea to know that you’re not the only one who feels this way. In addition, purchasing a home may prove a wise financial move. Identifying and prioritizing your long-term homeownership aspirations will help you get on the right track.

The following are some of the questions to ask yourself before buying.

What Type Of House Suits Your Needs

Single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums and cooperatives, and multi-family buildings are available options. Whatever your aspirations are in terms of homeownership, each option has advantages and disadvantages. Consider the one that best fits your current and future requirements.

What Size of Mortgage Do You Qualify For?

Mortgages come in a plethora of forms. Choosing whether to get a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage is the first decision you need to make (ARM). While the interest rate on a fixed-rate loan may be slightly higher, you’ll know exactly how much you’ll be paying each month for the life of the loan. 

Starting at a lower rate for a predetermined time (say, five or seven years), an ARM typically adjusts upwards or downwards at regular intervals (such as once a year). If the rate rises, so will your monthly payment.

What type of Home Can You Afford?

On the other hand, a bank may grant you a loan for a more expensive house than you are willing to pay. No matter how much money a bank says they’re eager to lend you, you should not take it. It’s common for first-time homebuyers to make this mistake and end up “house-poor,” which means they have no money left for other expenses such as clothing or utility bills.

When determining how much of a loan to take out, consider the monthly payment and the total cost of the house. Consider the cost of the neighborhood’s property taxes, the cost of homeowners insurance, the amount you plan to spend on house upkeep or improvements, and the total amount of closing costs.

How Much Savings Do You Have?

Even if you’re eligible for a large mortgage, you’ll have to fork over a significant amount upfront. If you plan to buy a house in the next six months to a year, you’ll want to keep your savings in the bank. The best alternative may be a high-yield savings account.

Who Will Help You Get Your Preferred Home?

Using the services of a real estate agent will help you find properties that fit both your needs and your budget. After that, they’ll take you to see the properties in person. This group of experts can help you with everything from making an offer to getting a loan and completing paperwork after finding the right house.

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