If you are purchasing your first home, it can be an exciting time. After working with a realtor in Staten Island, you may be ready to make your first purchase. Here are 10 things that every first-time homebuyer needs to know.
How much can you afford?
If you are just starting your home search, it is important to know how much home you can afford. After all, it can be easy to purchase a home that leaves you house poor, because the payment, maintenance, insurance, and taxes. Generally, experts recommend that your house payment should not exceed 28% of your gross monthly income.
Pick a realtor or real estate agent
Another critical part of your home search is having a professional who is familiar with the Staten Island real estate market. A realtor in Staten Island can give you the benefit of their experience and knowledge to help you find the right house to fit your needs and criteria.
No home is perfect
It might be easy to start your search with a vision of exactly the type of home that you want. The truth is that you are unlikely to find that house. Instead, list your criteria for your home and prioritize that list. The goal would be to try to get as many of the high priority items, recognizing that you will not be able to have everything. Compromise is key to finding a house that fits two of these three categories, price, size, and location.
Do your due diligence
Once you are ready to make an offer, then make sure that you have added contingencies to your offer and contract that gives you the power to back out if something goes horribly wrong. Typically, people put a home inspection clause into their offer, allowing them to back out if something is found or to request repairs be completed.
Do a home inspection
In line with that, it is important to have a home inspection completed. This process will allow you to identify any potential issues, such as a leaky roof. You can also find out the age of the furnace and water heater, letting you know whether these will need to be replaced soon or not. After all, the point is to be prepared for potential expenses as you take on home ownership.
Be aware of the maintenance
As a renter, when things need to be cared for, your landlord takes care of it. Now, as a homeowner, you need to be the one to change lightbulbs, fix leaky windows, or change your furnace filter. Doing all these things is part of caring for your most valuable asset, which is the home that you just purchased.
Know where your water shut off is located
There are all kinds of reasons why you might need to shut the water off in your home, be it a leak or a broken pipe. Knowing where your water shut off value is for your sinks and toilets will help you to quickly stop the water running through your home and the damage that flooding can create. You also want to know where your main water shut off value is, which stop the flow of water to your home.
Don’t trust your electric breaker labels
Here is the reality of these labels. They can be wrong. Remodeling jobs mean that new outlets might not be on the same circuit as the rest of the room. The bottom line is that you need to use a voltage detector to make sure that all the power is off before you start working on an outlet.
Be open to using professionals
While you might want to save money by doing some home projects yourself, the truth is that some projects need to be completed by a professional. These include plumbing, furnace replacement, and more. It is important to do your homework before hiring a professional to complete any projects around your home. That means checking their references and make sure that they have the current licenses.
Choose neutral colors
When you first move in, do not rush out looking for statement colors to paint the walls. Choose neutral ones and then compliment them with pops of color in furniture or accent pieces. The other thing to remember is that you need to live in your home for a while before making major changes. This process helps you to see how you are going to live in the home and allow you to spend money on what you really need in your new home.
Clearly, there is a lot to keep in mind, both in the purchase process and in the initial period after your home purchase. If you are ready to start looking, then our team of realtors in Staten Island can help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Wonica Realtors & Appraisers are Staten Island’s #1 independent full-service real estate firm, serving the needs of the community for over 30 years. Whether you’re buying, selling, renting or relocating, our staff of highly trained professionals will provide quality realty services with personal attention to your individual real estate needs.