The hunt is on. Finding the best mortgage rates requires a lot of snooping around. Depending on your proposed household income, rates will vary from company to company. Some firms will give you an outrageously high quote, and others will offer you a much lower quote. It feels like you’re being taken for a ride, but different companies have their own set standards. The trick is to be persistent when looking for the right deal; it won’t just fall into your lap. Be gutsy, negotiate during an assessment meeting with a firm that suits your needs, because by even just leveraging a half a percentage point lower, that could save you thousands of dollars in the long run. As you’re a couple, you’ll be most likely be buying the mortgage with a credit union.
You’ll want to buy homeowner's insurance too. For insurance, you must take an opposite philosophical view to that of obtaining a mortgage. The cheapest option isn’t necessarily the best option. By default, the most affordable policy covers the fewest options. You want to ensure all your valuables and taking this route, will end in a fruitless pursuit. But as the old saying goes, pennies make the dollars. To avoid being fleeced, actually value each item in your home one by one. This method keeps the price as low as possible while still retaining the tools to give you good insurance coverage.
An appraisal is not an approval
So, you’ve found what looks like your dream home. But looks can be deceiving so take this advice and put your emotions on the backburner for a minute. Don’t trust an appraisal, as this is just a face-value assessment and estimation of what the property is worth. While on a tour of the house, If you feel you’re being taken for a ride, or something just isn’t right, ask to have some alone time with your partner so you can wander off and check things out for yourselves. Inspect for cracks in the ceiling, rat or mouse droppings, all the appliances are in working order, structural strength integrity and the condition of the walls is up to scratch.
Even if some things are not up to par, they're able to be bypassed. If all the other boxes are ticked, but a few situational concerns remain, consider the following. If you’re buying a home in a flood-prone area, all is not lost. It depends on what location your potential home is built on. It may be listed in an area prone to flooding, but if it's built on a hill, the property is in the all clear. On the other hand, modern hazardous water flow preventions may be in place in the area, such as irrigation ditches, series of small dams or separate flow channels that can be activated but remain dormant for most of the year. If your heart is really set on a property in such a location, there are dedicated professionals that cleanup standing water immediately.
Your newborn has just come into your lives, or perhaps your children are already in their early childhood. Review the floor plan of your chosen property. If your child is going to be downstairs for the most part and you want to keep an eye them, a clear open floor would be best, so they’re never out of your sight or peripheral vision.
Many parents overlook the need for their children to play. So ask yourself, is the yard space large enough for your kids to play on? Playing is just as important as education when growing up. Before you decide where to settle, search and review the local infrastructure. Speaking of education, what kind of schools are there near your chosen home? Check what the grade average is of the surrounding schools before making up your mind altogether. The same for doctor surgeries. God forbid an accident may befall someone in your immediate family, if a local doctor or hospital is close by, injuries of life-threatening circumstances can be quickly dealt with.
What are the neighbors like and does that matter to you? If they harbor a large dog that is vicious or hostile to strangers? If so, that throws a spanner into the works. Should both parents start to work to pay off loans etc. What route can your children take walking to school? These are all questions you must factor into your decision-making. Think about every possibility you can; before committing to the buy.
Choosing your first family home is a daunting and scary task. But it can also be a wonderful, exciting experience, once you have all your ducks in line. The key to abating fears and hesitation is to do the proper research. Take your time, as this will be the largest purchase you’re ever to make in your life. Emotions should not play a part in picking the right home as practicality trumps an impulsive attachment to a property.