NEW YORK – LIVING – Buying a home is becoming harder for young adults as house prices remain high but earnings remain low. People everywhere are delaying the home-buying process as they’re unable to save up enough money for a down payment. However, there are a few tips and tricks that home-buyers can use to make sure they’re getting the best house possible for prices they can afford. If you’re looking to buy a new home, here are a few tips you should be aware of before you make your decision.
- Know what you can afford: Before you start shopping for a home, know what your budget is and stick to it. Your housing budget will depend on what you have saved up for a down payment, but also on your overall financial well-being, since a poor credit score can limit your mortgage options. In case of poor credit score you can get money from private money loans California FICO recommends that your credit utilization ratio should not be higher than 30% of your original credit limit if you want to keep your credit score high.
- Don’t judge a book by its cover: When you do start looking at homes, pay attention to both the exterior and the interior. In a Zillow survey, real estate agents named curb appeal one of the five most important factors in selling a home. With landscaping bringing a recovery value between 100% and 200% at selling time, a well-maintained exterior might be driving up the price of your dream home. Be sure to keep that in mind when looking at prices.
- Energy efficiency matters: Don’t forget to look at the energy efficiency of the home you’re planning on purchasing; an inefficient home could cost you in the long run when paying for utility bills. For example, a typical household spends a third of their annual heating and cooling budget — roughly $350 — on air that leaks into our out of the house through unintended gaps and cracks. Certain types of construction lend themselves to better energy efficiency; ICF walls, for example, can save homeowners 20% to 25% on annual heating and cooling costs.
- Pay attention to repairs: If you’re looking at a home that isn’t quite what you want it to be yet, make sure you’re properly budgeting for repairs. It can be easy to write off something as a small repair, but all those tiny fixes add up fast and can cost you later on.
- Account for all the costs: Think the listing price is what you’ll end up paying for the home? Think again. In purchasing a home, it’s important to remember additional fees you’ll encounter: closing costs, property taxes, and more. Try to calculate those in advance as much as possible to avoid problematic expenses.
- Negotiate on prices: Once you’ve worked out a home that you love, don’t be afraid to push a bit on the price. Work with your real estate agent to figure out a reasonable offer for the home based on comparable homes in the surrounding area. Making an offer isn’t an exact science, so it’s important to have a bit of professional help for this step.
Buying a home can be a complicated process, but these tips and tricks should help you save a bit of money and help you get the home you’ve been wanting for a reasonable price.