Buying a home may be top five most stressful purchases of all time, and doing it with a significant other pushes it to number one; FOR SURE. The stress doesn’t always come from things you would except. You could have the easiest home buying process ever and still stress out because some of the real issues don't begin until after you buy the home, for the most part. My fiancé and I just bought our first home and man was it tough. We learned a lot about the home buying process, so we thought I should impart some of that wisdom on our fellow readers. Read on for three tips for first time home buyers.
1.Be Firm on Negotiations for Issues in your Potential Home
The home we bought looked amazing on our first visit, but after our inspection we found a few issues that could have potentially broke the deal. We needed about $1,000 worth of work to fix those issues. That may not seem like a lot, but after you put the down payment up on any decent house, the last thing you are thinking about is spending more money on things you could have avoided all together by either buying another home or having the sellers fix those issues. Every home will have something wrong that needs fixing. Whether it cost $500 or $5000, no home is perfect. So don’t be scared to have the sellers either pay for the repairs, or knock money off the closing amount to get those things fixed. The first number we asked for was $1,500 ( $1,000 plus $500 for anything else we find) and they came back with $350. We stayed firm and came to a number we were comfortable with, thanks to our dope realtor Ryan Rosenthal.
2.Get the Home Warranty
I’m usually not an extended warranty type of guy, but I'm a changed man after buying this home. We moved into, what we believed was, a home with brand new electrical. A week or two of being in our home, we started to notice the lights in the house flicker when the A/C and heat turns on. Too late to tell the seller to fix it, we were out of luck until we remembered our realtor had negotiated the home warranty to be included at the seller’s expense. What a relief! We’ve found a few more issues over the last few months that were missed during our inspection ( not to our inspector’s fault) that falls under the home warranty. Instead of paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for potential issues, they are covered under the home warranty. I would recommend buying it or negotiating with the seller to buy the home warranty for at least the first year. You won’t be sorry.
3. Be Mindful of Uncle Sam
Uncle Sam is always hating, so heed this warning! Every 6 years, the tax commissioner for the state requires Cuyahoga County to evaluate the property values of every home for tax purposes. This way, they can correctly calculate the property taxes you owe. This amount is not actually what your house is worth nor is it the amount you purchased it for. The value of your property may go up or down depending on a few things that include age, size, and location of your home, amongst other things. So when your property value is increased, that drives your mortage up due to the property tax increase that is inside your monthly mortage payment. There is no way around this, but be mindful. If you were planning on buying a home in 2018 ( like we did) and you had a budget or an idea of what you wanted your monthly mortage to be, you may be in for a surprise, whether good or bad! Your property value may increase or decrease the first year and may throw your perfect budget/mortage amount out of wack after that first year. Our property value jumped $15,000 and will definitely show in our monthly mortgage the upcoming year! We had no idea this was coming, so be careful and make sure to check what year the tax commissioner will revalue your home. It happened in 2018 so the next valuation will be in 2024 ( for Cuyahoga County). So anyone buying a house in 2023 and/or 2024, make sure you understand that your mortage has a chance of increasing the following year.
Obviously there is so much more that goes into buying a house, but these are a few things we ran into with our home buying process! Everyone’s experience is different, but if you remember these tips, I promise you will sleep better at night after the contracts are signed and you’re all moved in.