The National Association of Realtors estimates that more than half of the U.S. home sales in 2017 will be to first-time buyers, so don’t feel you are alone if you aren’t familiar with all the intricacies of buying a house.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you start your search for the perfect home:
- Keep an eye on mortgage interest rates. We’ve had remarkably low interest rates during the past decade that all the experts expect will rise in the coming months and years
- Be realistic about how much you can comfortably afford for a monthly payment
- Don’t forget the possible extra cost of private mortgage insurance, or PMI, for borrowers who don’t have 20 percent down payment on the home. You may not need PMI after you reach a certain level of equity in the house
- Don’t let your emotions get the better of you in a bidding war over a house, and avoid the sometimes risky practice of waiving inspection and repair contingencies just because you are caught up in a bidding situation
- Be aware of how the waterline of a property on lake or river can advance or retreat. The shore of a lake can turn into a mud pit during dry months or a river can breach its banks during stretch of particularly heavy rain