Most families cherish for years the memory of purchasing their first home. For them, the experience arrived with a generous sense of accomplishment, autonomy, and security. It signified the beginning of one of life’s great chapters and offered clean closure to every problem they’d endured as renters. No matter how many homes families own during their lives, it’s safe to say that the first will never be forgotten.
Before anyone becomes a homeowner, they must overcome the question that haunts everyone entering the real estate market for the first time:
How do I know if I’m ready to buy?
The process can seem insurmountable to those who’ve never endured it. In fact, many people who can purchase their first home resist or postpone the opportunity because the process seems so daunting. Trying to wrap one’s mind around spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on something can intimidate even the most interested buyers.
But with a little encouragement and understanding of real estate, the benefits of buying a first home far outweigh all these initial intimidation’s. And with just a little honest self-assessment, any family can determine if the timing and market is right for them.
Here are a few keys to determine your readiness to buy your first home, and some simple first steps for beginning that process:
Are you ready to start investing?
When you sign the dotted line to purchase a first home, you’re signing up to no longer shovel cash endlessly into a business owner’s pocket. From now on, whenever you send off that monthly check, you’re investing that money in your own home.
For renters, monthly checks pay for little more than temporarily maintaining a roof over that tenant’s head. When the lease ends, the tenant has nothing to show for all the money he or she sent to the landlord over the course of that year.
On the other hand, when you are paying off a home, those monthly checks go to something of substance: equity in your house. This means that eventually, you’ll stop writing those monthly checks because the house is fully paid off, 100% yours.
What could be better? This: On average, the value of homes across the U.S. is appreciating. Every year that the value of your home increases, the market is creating a difference between what you paid for the home at the start, and the higher value its worth now. The extra money accrued through this gradual growth can go straight into your pocket if you ever decide to sell.
To buy a home is to become an investor.
It’s time for some more autonomy
There is something inherently comforting about home ownership. The independence of knowing that the floors, walls, kitchen, appliances, and bathroom are truly yours marks the beginning of a distinct new season in anyone’s life. Property owners no longer live under the strict home-governance of a business owner. Instead, they take the helm of every decision that goes into the property.
The house becomes your home. There is no longer a landlord who makes you sign long leases that promise you’ll keep all rooms in their original, boring color. From the most vibrant dining room design to the most hidden closet with your favorite style shelves, how you organize the home is up to you. You are the king or queen, and this home is your castle.
You can understand real estate
Most of us wouldn’t purchase a house on a whim – especially not the first house. Informed decision-making is a must. But with so much to learn, many feel intimidated and never so much as begin the process of understanding the real estate market.
The most well-equipped first-time home buyers are those who do their homework. This can begin with questions about your preferences and needs:
What do I want in a home?
What can I afford in a mortgage?
Buying a home is usually a long-term decision, so translating the details of your income into a comfortable mortgage budget can help you feel more comfortable when it comes time to buy. If you crunch the numbers and conclude that you’ll be digging through couch cushions to secure every quarter and dime so you can keep eating, than lower your budget until you safely arrive at a number that makes you feel comfortable.
Coming to terms with your personal preferences and needs will answer most of the important and pressing real estate questions. All the industry jargon can sound intimidating, but they are just industry terms used to describe how well homes fulfill the needs your family cares about. The truth is if you know the specifics of what you want in a home, landing those details in the market becomes markedly simpler.
Consult a reputable real estate agent
The right real estate agent can make all the difference when it comes to buying a first home. The most proficient agents are not only there to sell you a home, but also around to consult you regarding the best options available to your family. Here are some tricks for finding a reliable real estate agent:
- Read reviews of the agent online. Remember that people make a big deal about their best and worst experiences, so the internet will mostly tell you about horror and miracle stories. The average agent might not receive much comment because their performance doesn’t feel exceptional. But a few strong comments can be a good sign of a well-equipped agent. If you find an agent who sounds like he or she always goes the extra mile, then snag them as quickly as you can. And avoid those who have caused horror stories.
- Meet one on one with an agent to consider how well they listen to you. A poor listener may try to get away with just taking you to a list of generic homes. An attentive real estate agent will be more attuned to your needs. This makes the process faster, simpler, and leaves you happier when all is said and done.
- Consider their experience. Is the prospective realtor new to the area or have they lived in the city for a decade? Are they in their first year as a licensed realtor or have they been in the business for a while? Asking simple questions can highlight the agents with thorough knowledge of the housing market.
- See what their agency says about them. Now, I know this sounds a like it’ll be a little biased, and it can be. But companies usually do not give out awards for nothing. If your agent has received accolades and Best-Real-Estate awards from their firm or county, there’s a good chance that they’re reputable agents who you can trust with your time.
If you’re in search of a real estate agent in Las Vegas, speak with an associate at Lifestyle LV. We are a boutique real estate firm with leading knowledge about the local marketplace. We will help you find a home that fits your budget and caters to your style. Call Lifestyle LV today to see why we are such a trusted name in the Greater Las Vegas area.