The Things I Wish I Knew When We Bought Our First Home

For most young people, buying a house is synonymous with freedom. Finally, you can do whatever you want in your home without worrying about what the landlord might say or about getting your deposit back. It is yours, and to put things clearly; you can put as many holes in the walls as you want to. Except, naturally, that buying a house brings a lot more than just a new sense of freedom. There are responsibilities — on the financial and on the practical sides for instance —, compromises and the discovery of new skills too. Buying a house together is truly the beginning of a new adventure. Unfortunately, for a lot of couples, it can also bring serious disagreements and difficulties to their relationship. In the end, the best way for yourself to prepare for this exciting journey into an unknown universe — the land of home ownership — is probably to hear about it first hand from those who made the journey and survived it!

Moving into your first home

#1. First things first: How much can you afford?

Does it need saying? Buying a home is naturally an important investment, and it’s likely to be the first of its kind for you. Most couples choose a combined mortgage option when they buy their first home, as it is one of the easiest options. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t look for other mortgage offers. To keep things basic, the more you borrow, the more you will have to repay. So it’s always a good idea to work with a housing loan calculator to determine first how much you can afford to pay back over a period of time. Sometimes, you might find that it’s easier to save or borrow from your friends or relatives to pay a large deposit on the house and be able to take a loan on a smaller amount.

Home, Money, Euro, Coin, Coins, Bank Note, Calculator

[Photo courtesy of AlexanderStein/pixabay.com]

 How much can you afford?

#2.It’s all about money and planning

Don’t fall into the common trap of thinking that the cost of your home is the cost of your loan. It is far from it, especially if you hadn’t taken any renovation project into account when you agreed on a price. Affording home improvements can be especially stressful if you’re not used to it. But do you know that you don’t need to rely on an FHA loan to finance your home improvements? Indeed, first-time buyers can also focus on eco-friendly transformations that can be funded by governmental bodies, for example. For extensive renovation works, you can apply for a construction loan or borrow from your 401(k).

#3. Budget as a couple

In fact, the decision to buy a home together marks for couples the first struggle to keep a budget that cares for their individual and common financial needs. You may be used to keeping your own budget, but a couple budget is a whole new kettle of fish. For a start, you need to define your household needs in terms of mortgage repayment, bills, groceries, etc. These, while they are common, will be different to the kind of budget you had BEFORE you bought a house. Additionally, it’s essential that you and your partner agree on the long-term saving goals. There’s no point working towards separate goals.

#4. Combining furniture or buying new?

For some couples, buying a house is the first time they will be properly moving in together — it’s not uncommon for couples to spend time together but keep their separate apartments until they are ready to move in together properly. You might think that the hardest part about this is to share private details through the cohabitation. But believe it or not, most couples report that the hardest part of moving in together is combining their styles and furniture. Indeed, you need to be prepared to get rid of as much of your stuff as you expect your partner to. It’s only fair to keep the best of your common belongings, and it’ll avoid arguments in future. Besides you can also focus on buying new pieces of furniture together.

#5. You’re emotionally ready for the life together

Buying a house together might sound like a good idea. But you need to ask yourself first if you’re ready for this kind of commitment. Cohabitation becomes real when it’s in your own home. In a tenancy agreement, you can leave whenever you want. If it’s your home, you can’t leave. That’s why you need to be sure that you’re ready to move in together for real. Living with the person you love requires accepting levels of intimacy that you may not be prepared to deal with just now. For instance, as silly as it might sound, being able to talk openly about your choices, aspirations and desires for your relationship is a crystal-clear giveaway that you are ready for the move. The best test, though, is to observe how you interact with each other when you’re dealing with stress or financial issues, as these tend to be relationship killers.  

#6. You need to establish some basic rules

Buying your first home also means being ready to accept and share the responsibilities that come with it. You’ve guessed it right: Household chores are a big area of disagreement for couples. Indeed, as both partners often work in modern relationships, household chores need to be shared fairly between both of you. If you prefer doing the laundry while your partner enjoys washing up, then you can simply stick with your eras of expertise or preferences. Admittedly, nobody really enjoys doing chores, but you can work on the basis of things you don’t hate doing instead, as it’s a healthy way of sharing tasks.

#7. Create your decor together

Ah decorating. Who doesn’t love decorating? However, when you buy your first home together, you need to establish a fair approach to your interior decor. It’s not only a personal matter; it’s a matter of shared personal tastes. If you’ve got two different styles, it can be fun to blend both approaches to create an in-between style that will keep your decor eclectic and exciting. You will find the decorating exercise can get a lot easier if you can agree on a common palette of colors that can bring everything together. As a rule of the thumb, though, a good palette consists of five color schemes — by color scheme, we mean blues and grays, for instance, that offer many variations without one theme.

#8. Discover the joys of DIY

You can’t move happily in a house without knowing anything about the most basic home repairs. In fact, you will soon find yourself checking online tutorials to find out how to unblock the toilet or how to clean your grout. While nobody expects you to become a plumbing expert or a qualified electrician, your home maintenance requires some basic DIY skills. Tiling, painting, repairing wood or metal surfaces with filler compounds, or fixing the tap on the sink are essential requirements that every handy(wo)man needs to learn. And don’t leave it to the man in the house simply because he is a man! There’s no room for sexism in home maintenance!

Office Worker, Garage, Worker, Work, Man, Repair

[Photo courtesy of Free-Photos/pixabay.com]

Get your DIY tools with your first home

#9. Give your home a  housewarming party

You might be considering throwing a big housewarming party for your friends and neighbors. If you can; don’t skip on the party as it’s a great way to introduce yourself to a new neighborhood. But remember that once the party is over, you’re the one left to clean. So keep it civilized, friendly and alcohol-light!

In the end, there is a lot to consider when you decide to buy a home together. Your finances; of course; are a priority. But your relationship, your personal preferences and your ability to work together will transform your house into a home. Don’t be fooled: It won’t be perfect every day. But that’s okay because with time and goodwill great things happen.

[ Tagged In ] , , , , ,

The Ups & Downs Of Home Ownership

For the majority of people, home ownership is the goal in life. There is something so very secure about the feeling of being a homeowner, of knowing that you have your own place in the world that is just yours. You don’t have to worry about what your landlord will think if you decide to put up artwork and you can make decisions regarding your own decor like never before. It’s no wonder ownership is the goal for so many people.

Of course… then there’s the downside.

The truth is that home ownership is not a cure-all, a guarantee that life from this point onwards will be simple. There are moments when a homeowner will desperately wish for the freedom of renting again; perhaps even to the point they wish they were back living with their parents.

So if you’re contemplating your first purchase – or have already bought, and just want to know others go through the same range of emotions as you do – then it’s worth taking the time to examine the ups and the downs.

UP: Your Status Is Improved

Checklist, Check, List, Marker, Checked, Mark, Writing

[Photo courtesy of TeroVesalainen/pixabay.com]

There is something about the mere idea of being a homeowner that makes people take you a little bit more seriously. You have proven that you are able to convince a bank to lend you money, so you must be a serious, reliable person. You have undertaken a huge responsibility, and there’s no doubt about it: you will be treated differently – better – because of it.

You’ll find it easier to secure finance in the future, be it for a car or poor credit homeowner loans to spend on household renovations. You will also be offered preferable rates by insurance companies. So yes, there’s definitely a status boost to being a homeowner.

DOWN: You’re Responsible If Something Goes Wrong

If you have a problem with an aspect of a house while renting, it’s not really your problem. If the boiler breaks down or a window needs replacing, your entire involvement is based around calling the landlord and then waiting for them to do the work.

If you’re a homeowner, you have to rectify these – often expensive – problems yourself. It’s not an enjoyable experience. You have to learn to have an emergency fund on hand for those sudden, unavoidable household repairs, as well as the knowledge that you can’t just move out if the problems become intolerable.

UP: The Sense Of Permanence

Real Estate, Mortgage Bond, House Sales, Estate Agent

[Photo courtesy of stevepb/pixabay.com]

Even if you live in a rented home for a long period of time, it is rarely with a feeling of permanence. You are always subject to the whims of the landlord. They might decide to sell, to raise your rent, or just to evict you to use the house for their own purposes.

As a homeowner, providing you pay your mortgage, the only person whose whims you are subject to is you. You can truly put down roots, become a part of the community, become friendly with your neighbors. You know you’re going to be there for awhile, which can be reassuring and help to provide a sense of safety

DOWN: You Can’t Move Quickly

When you rent, the only thing holding you back is the notice period you have to give – other than that, you’re free to move as you please. If you get a job offer that requires a cross-country move, you can take it without a second thought.

As a homeowner, you don’t have that luxury. That same permanence that is such a benefit in some ways, suddenly becomes cloying and restrictive. While there’s always a chance you will be lucky and be able to rush through a quick sale of your home, the reality is that house sales take around six weeks if you’re lucky, as well as the possible delays with the legal side of things. If things don’t progress as quickly as you would hope, there’s a chance you will have to turn down a lucrative job offer solely because your house won’t sell – and that’s no fun at all.

Overall, home-ownership is the goal because of the safety and security it provides – but to pretend it’s all smooth sailing is to misrepresent the reality somewhat. So enjoy the ups and try to survive the downs as best as you can. Keep a small emergency fund for all of those repairs, and ensure you keep the house in good order and condition in case you one day need a quick sale. With these steps, you should be able to ensure you have far more ups than downs.

[ Tagged In ] , , , , , ,

Making Home Dreams Come True

So the time has come to own your own home.  You have had enough of renting and the thought of being able to call a place your own fills you with excitement.  If you are about to embark on the path towards homeownership here are some things you are definitely going to need to know to make sure your first home is a good one.

  1. Know your budget – let’s start with the basics.  How much can you afford to spend on your home?  We all dream of the big beach front property but for most of us this just isn’t a reality.  Be honest with yourself about how much you can afford to borrow based on your earnings and savings and stick to the budget.  Remember your budget needs to include the price of the house, any renovations if you are going for a project buy and of course all the legal fees. Do the math before you even start the search and it will avoid a lot of heartache when the perfect house is outside of your means.
  2. Be needy – really consider what you need from a property. This isn’t just the size but also how your lifestyle will work within the properties you are looking at.  Do you need a spare room for when the family comes to stay? Do you spend more time in the kitchen or living room? Do you need a bath or will just a shower work.  Is a garden a must or can you live with a balcony? All of these and more are valid questions to ask yourself so that you can steer your realtor towards those homes that are going to best suit your needs.
  3. Clean up your act – there are lots of poor credit home loans on the market so don’t let a poor credit history stand in your way of home-ownership.  However if you can clean up your credit score you have more options when it comes to the type of mortgage deal that suits you.  You can dramatically improve your score by paying your bills on time and dealing with bad debt history.  For more information and advice check out Equifax.
  4. Bargain hunt – if you want a bigger house on a budget why not consider a project buy as a way of getting more for your money. Project buys are houses that need a little or a lot of work to them but because of that are sold off at much less than they are worth.  If you have time, patience and some good DIY skills you could save a fortune and add value to your home just by fixing it up.
  5. Plan ahead – unless you have a really good income or family money a mortgage is normally taken over a very long period of time, which means you need to consider your future earnings as well as your cash flow today.  Plan ahead as best you can for a financially sound future.

Home ownership dreams – image from sheknows.com

[ Tagged In ] , , , , ,

Shocking Secret Costs Of Home Buying

You might have quite a romantic notion of buying your first home. To be honest, it is a beautiful concept. You’re buying a little plot of land and a home that is yours and that you own. But you shouldn’t let that idea hide the very real costs that you’re going to face when you start to think about buying a property. There are a lot of hidden costs that you need to be prepared for otherwise, they can come back to bite you in a few years. Here’s an example of one of those nasty costs, the removal team. We know what you’re thinking. A removal team can’t be that expensive, can they? Be careful with this assumption though because different companies charge different prices. As well as this, prices will fluctuate depending on when you’re moving and where you’re moving too. If you’re traveling to a new home halfway across the country, removal costs are going to be a large chunk of the bill.

Home, At Home, Luck, Feel At Ease

[Photo courtesy of Alexas_Fotos/pixabay.com]

The best way to handle this is by looking at different companies online and finding the cheapest possibility. But you also want to check out reviews to make sure that the company you choose isn’t going to deliver a shoddy service. Here are a few other hidden costs that you need to think about.

Legal Fees

Lawyers are notorious for charging heavy costs for their services, and we often forget that buying a home is a legal transaction. It’s such a massive purchase that you need legal representation to make sure that everything is above board. That’s not even the only professional you’ll need to hire either. You will also need to think about getting an inspector as well as a surveyor, and the list just keeps growing. When you buy a home, you may need to hire as many as three different professionals to ensure that your purchase happens without a hitch.

Interest

Don’t forget that when you buy a home, you will almost always be taking out a loan to pay for it or a mortgage. A mortgage that, unfortunately, is like any other loan. What this means is that you can start paying back the cost of your home at a reasonable amount. But eventually, after a few years, you could end up paying a lot more than what your home was originally worth. That’s why you need to calculate mortgage payment before you actually buy a home. This will ensure that you know exactly what you’re getting into and can avoid the nasty situation of repayments becoming unmanageable.

Home

[Photo courtesy of George Hodan/publicdomainpictures.net]

Bills, Bills, Bills,

Last but not least, it’s worth thinking about home bills. They are probably going to be considerably larger than you’re used to and could be a shock to your finances. Luckily, there are ways to reduce this cost. You just need to think about going greener, conserving energy as much as you possibly can.

Good luck with these costs when buying a home. If you take this advice, you’ll be able to avoid the surprise and plan your finances accordingly.

[ Tagged In ] , , , , , ,

error: Content is protected !!