6 Money-Saving Tips for Buying Your First Home

So, you’re thinking of buying your first home. How exciting! It’s a good bet that you’re also a little overwhelmed at the prospect, too. There’s a lot to making such a huge purchase, so your feelings are understandable. To help you avoid spending more than you need to, we’ve put together a few tips to keep in mind as you go through the home-buying process. Here’s how to buy your first home like an economist.

Go into Your Home Search Knowing What You Want and Don’t Want

Before you begin searching for your dream home, make a list of your must-haves and deal breakers. For instance, how far is too far of a commute to work? How many bedrooms do you want? Does the home need a big backyard? What about homeowners’ associations – yay or nay?

Think about Resale Value

When you find a home that seems perfect, don’t ignore red flags that pop up. For example, if the home has been on the market for a long time, it’s possible the asking price is too high. Consider what other buyers might be willing to pay. After all, you may not stay in the home long-term, and if you paid too much, other buyers may not be willing to give you what you need to get out of it when you sell it.

Educate Yourself on the Local Data

If you’re interested in buying a home, take some time to look at the data on other homes that have sold in the area. Look at similar properties to see what they have sold for in the recent past. Compare the asking price to this data to make sure it’s in line with the other local properties so you can make a fair offer and hopefully avoid a bidding war.

Be Smart with Your Offer Terms

The terms of your offer should reflect the current market. For instance, it’s common practice to include financing and inspection contingencies, but it’s not always possible, especially if the market is booming. Be smart about the terms of your offer when possible to protect your own interests.

Ask for Concessions

Once your offer is accepted and the inspection is complete, you have the right to ask for concessions – or money to cover the cost of repairs. At this point, the buyer can back out for any reason, so don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. It’s possible the seller will opt to make the repairs himself, but if not, will likely give you the money if he’s serious about selling the property.

Don’t be Afraid to Negotiate

Nothing is set in stone when it comes to the home-buying process. It’s a game of negotiation, and if you’re not an active player, you’ll lose in the end. Stand up for yourself and negotiate for what you think is fair.