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It’s an exciting milestone in a young person’s life to be on the cusp of purchasing a first home. If this is where you’re at right now, you probably have mixed feelings ranging from thrilled to anxious. That’s understandable, as a house is a big purchase that’ll change your life forever.

To help you, here’s a quick guide that’ll make you better prepared as you begin your house search:

Timing Is Everything
The natural first step to buying your first home is to determine whether this is really the best time for you to do so. While renting might not be a long-term solution, it may be what’s best for you given your current situation. Are your finances in good shape? Do you plan to stay put for years? Are you ready to take on the added responsibilities of owning a home? Make sure you’re at a place in your life where homeownership is really within reach. If you are, then it’s time to proceed.

Consider Your Finances
You might fall in love with a certain home, but struggle every month to make the mortgage payment. This is no way to live. You want to end up with a home that’s well within your budget. Figure out what you’re comfortable spending and then only look at homes in that range. Don’t get talked into buying more home than you can afford.

Work With a Real Estate Agent
There’s no need to look around for the best home on your own. Real estate agents have a special knowledge of the market, pricing and the overall home-buying process. Hire a real estate professional, and let the agent know what you’re looking for. The agent will then compile a list in preparation for scheduling some viewings for you.

Shop Around for the Best Deal
Most people looking to sell real estate are willing to negotiate their price a little bit. Keep that in mind. In addition, some homes are overpriced, while others are underpriced, so you obviously want to aim for the latter, while still finding a great property in the location of your choice.

If you can follow this short guide, your path to homeownership will be within reach. The key is to take it slow and make sure that you’re confident in your final decision. You want a home that you’ll be comfortable in for the long term and one that you can easily afford. Accomplish these objectives, and you’ll be set for a happy future.

Source: Kara Masterson/RISMedia’s Housecall

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