Buying that first home is considered by many to be one of the last milestones on the path to becoming a fully fledged adult. If you're on the verge of beginning your transition from renter to homeowner, you may be feeling a mixture of pride, anticipation, and anxiety. It's normal and natural to be nervous about making any big financial commitment -- and you don't want to end up with a big case of buyer's remorse after you sign the final papers and take possession of the keys. Following are three ways that you and others in your position can hedge your bets against having regrets when you're in the early stages of home ownership.
Visit the Neighborhood at Night and on Weekends
Some neighborhoods completely change character once the sun goes down or the weekend starts. If you've only visited a place during normal business hours, you've probably seen it when it's at its most quiet and peaceful -- after all, other homeowners are likely to be at work and their children are in school during the day. Visiting the area at night and on weekends can tell a whole other story.
For instance, you may want to think twice about making a financial commitment to purchasing a property where a significant amount of questionable street activity is taking place. On the other hand, if you notice children playing outside and other signs of families enjoying the neighborhood, you'll probably have fewer regrets about moving your family to the neighborhood.
Brush Up On Maintenance Skills
New homeowners frequently find themselves feeling nostalgic for their renter days when the only thing they had to pick up when something broke down was a phone to call the property management office to schedule a visit by a repair person. However, homeowners are left holding the bag themselves when it comes to minor maintenance and repairs, and these bills can add up to the extent that young homeowners are regretting their choice. Learning basic maintenance skills helps ensure that you're not constantly in debt to various repair companies.
Calculate Costs Completely
Naturally, you've done your homework on how much of a mortgage and down payment you can comfortably afford on your income, However, it's also important to know about possible hidden costs before you make your final decision. For instance, property tax is an annual expense that you will need to budget for, and closing costs are a one-time expense that new buyers sometimes fail to take into account.
For more information about your home mortgage and the buying process, talk with a company like General Electric Credit Union.