Young people today are starting to buy houses more than ever. Unlike their parents, young home buyers today want their space to have greater flexibility, open-floor layout, high-speed internet, energy-star appliances, and other fancy amenities. Still, even if your home-to-be rocks all the fine features and suave trims you’d like it to have, don’t go signing the contract without due deliberation. Property purchase is one of the biggest financial transactions you’ll ever make in your lifetime, which is why you should make sure that all the critical aspects of your investment are covered well beforehand. Here’s a brief guide on the most important points every potential buyer should bear in mind when buying a place to call their home.

1. Buy a Home You Can Afford to Keep

The fact that your future home fits your current bill doesn’t necessarily mean that it will remain such in the years to come. Before you put your name on the property purchase contract, take a few minutes to go over the updates you’ll have to carry out before you move in, and also take into account long-term maintenance and upgrades costs. By reviewing all the expenses involved in the home purchase and upkeep, you will stay out of potential financial hassle in a few years’ time should your income change for the lower or mortgage interest rates, insurance, and taxes go up.

2. Find a Realtor You Can Really Trust

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Realtors work for a set fee, and it’s in their interest to sell each and every piece of property to an interested buyer. Even though a realtor’s commission is covered by the home seller, it still doesn’t mean that just about every agent you stumble across will be all-out honest about the shape of the home they’re looking to sell. For this reason, it’s of utmost importance to find a realtor you can really trust with the biggest investment of your life. If you’re unsure about the candor of a realtor you’ve found online, you can always run a brief research and check their reputation, professional background, and client testimonials. This will help you pick the right person for the job and reduce the risk of buying a money pit instead of a dream home.

3. Think about home insurance

With all the environmental changes and all the unintentional things that can happen, it’s always better to have your home insured. There are many types of policies and you need to find one that will suit you the most – when it comes both to the type of coverage and the amount you’re willing to spend. Compare different types of insurance quotes to make sure you find the best deal that will protect both your house and your budget. Make sure to do research on the neighborhood and see all the potential risks you may expect in the future in order to find out what you need to include in the insurance plan.

4. Get a Reliable Home Assessment

Another critical aspect of first-time real estate purchases, a reliable property inspection will produce precious insights into the actual shape and market value of a home-to-be. Before you buy a piece of property, hire a professional building and pest inspection service to run all the necessary checks, and rely on trustworthy facts from the report when making the final decision about the purchase. You can also use the inspection results to bring down the property price in the negotiations and thus save some cash on the side for home maintenance costs, repairs, and future upgrades.

5. Long-Term Thinking Saves You Cash

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When looking for a place to turn into your very own nest, don’t forget that your signature on the purchase contract is a long-term commitment that you won’t be able to duck out of. To avoid taking on responsibilities that may weigh you down along the way, go over your long-term plans and see whether you should actually make the home-buying move just yet. If you’re planning to quit or change your job in the next few years, you may want to think twice before buying a home. Also, if you’re looking forward to jumping into marital waters and enlarging your family in the foreseeable future, note that your housing needs will probably change and the property that now seems a picture-perfect home may not stay that way once your private life changes.

6. Keep Your Legal Bases Covered

Home purchase involves a contract, but the red tape doesn’t top there: on top of the actual real estate procurement contract, there will be other, no less important papers to sign, and you need to be very careful about their content before you put your name on the dotted line. Read every agreement, report, and insurance policy carefully, and pay attention to contingency clauses to reduce the risk of winding up with a heavy financial ball and chain on your ankles. It’s up to you to avoid extra costs, so don’t neglect small print and vague liability provisions – the oversight may cost you more than you could ever imagine once the property passes into your hands.

The fact that you’re young and eager to settle down isn’t an excuse to make hasty property-related decisions on the spur of the moment. Think home buying through well and run all the necessary surveys and inspections before you sign the property purchase contract. You’re welcome.