Buying a house for the first time and don’t know where to start? As much as finding your dream home is exciting, it can also be challenging and stressful.

Luckily, with the help of the right realtor and a few essential tips, you can go through your house-hunting journey with a smile and peace of mind. Remember to keep your priorities in order and think of the house as a long-term investment.

Keep reading to discover a list of 6 things you need to know before buying a house and signing on the dotted line.

  1. Consider Your Long-Term Plans

One of the first things you need to know before buying a house is your long-term plans for your life and your home. If you’re not married yet, do you plan to in the future? If so, this can change your mortgage conditions and asset distribution.

If you plan to stay in the house for only a few years, it might be best to get a smaller home where no repairs or renovations are needed. If you plan to stay for longer than 10 years, you can get a bigger home for a growing family.

It’s all about your plans for the future and your ability to maintain the house you’ll choose as your dream home. If you know you’ll be changing careers or locations due to a job, renting might be a better solution for the time being.

  1. Work With an Experienced Realtor

Home sellers and home buyers are two sides of the same real estate coin. To make sure everyone gets what they wanted, there are realtors who help negotiate the terms between the two sides.

Some realtors or brokers represent the home seller while others represent the home buyer. When hiring a realtor, make sure they’re experienced, licensed, and certified to work. Do in-depth research and ask for recommendations, especially if you’re a first time home buyer.

You need someone who will take care of your needs and priorities and will work in your favor. A realtor can also help you schedule home inspections, negotiate prices, and make sure you get fair terms in all contracts.

  1. Read All Paperwork Carefully Before Signing

If you’re wondering what to know when buying a house for the first time, make sure you read carefully all paperwork and contracts before signing.

Contracts are not fixed and unable to change – in fact, a good realtor will help you negotiate the terms of a contract until you’re happy with it. Remember that every serious house buying process involves tons of paperwork and you need to read everything from start to finish to avoid problems later on.

You can always go through the paperwork with your realtor and talk about the terms or ask questions if you need clarification. Never ever sign anything without reading it first and until you’re sure you understand everything.

If you’re buying a home with a partner who isn’t your spouse, get a lawyer and make a separate contract to define the responsibilities of each party related to mortgage payments, maintenance costs, utilities, and an exit plan.

  1. Consider All House-Related Costs

Costs and expenses are among the most important things you need to know before you buy a house, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. Aside from mortgage payments, you also need to have enough money for house maintenance, property taxes, insurance, landscaping, upkeep, securuty, and other unexpected expenses.

Consider your future family as well – will you have more children and if so, will you need a bigger house in the future? Do you know the neighborhood well and plan to stay there for a long time? Will you be able to afford your mortgage in a few years’ time?

These are all important questions to think about before deciding to buy a house, especially if it’s your first-ever property.

  1. Know Your Priorities

Before you buy a house, take some time to think about your priorities when it comes to your future home. What are the things you absolutely can’t do without? Write them down.

What are some things that could make your life easier or better? What are some things you want to avoid? Knowing what you want exactly will give your realtor a clear picture of your dream house.

At the same time, they’ll steer clear of properties that would be a waste of time for you. For instance, if you’re set on a certain number of bedrooms or a specific neighborhood, tell this to the realtor so they can pinpoint the best property for you.

  1. Don’t Feel Pressured

The housing market is dynamic and things can change overnight. Don’t let these things pressure you into making an offer when you’re not ready or before you’ve had the time to look at more houses.

Even if a house seems like the perfect home, if you’ve only seen it once, it might be wise to view some other properties first. If the realtor pressures you to make an offer on a house that was put on the market recently, don’t give in to the pressure.

A good realtor will have your needs and desires as their first priority and won’t pressure you to make a decision if you’re not ready. It’s easy to be tempted to make an offer if you know someone else is eyeing the property, but this should never be the deciding factor for doing things you’re not 100% ready for.

Remember These Key Things You Need To Know Before Buying a House

Buying a home is a serious decision and includes everything from making a list of priorities for your new home to making sure you can afford all house maintenance and mortgage costs for years to come.

Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or have bought a couple of houses before, these essential things you need to know before buying a house will help you make the right choice.

Want more real estate and home hunting tips? Check out some of the other articles we have on our website and stick around for more of the latest industry news and trends.