Buying a home is one of the biggest financial commitments that you will make in your life, if not the biggest. As we have mentioned in most of our other posts about mortgages, the financial commitment of a mortgage can last decades and cost several years’ worth of income. This is intimidating for many people, and it is all the more intimidating for first-time homebuyers. Finding the perfect home, striking a great deal on price, landing an optimal mortgage, and coordinating moving logistics can be a major headache, and many people get discouraged just by the idea of facing all of those things. This post is for those people who may be apprehensive about buying their first home. Whether your worries are financial, logistical, or general in nature, this post will address the things to expect as well as tips for the first-time homebuyer.

 

Financial Concerns About Buying Your First House

pink pig figurine on white surface

 

The financial component of buying a house is often the biggest deterrent or anxiety causing part of the process, as it is the part that will affect your lifestyle the most. Most first-time homebuyers are in their early and middle phases of life, where signing a 30-year loan seems like an eternity. For someone in their 20’s, this means potentially agreeing on a loan that will be longer in length than their entire life up to that point! It is perfectly normal and natural to worry about finances when shopping for a new house for the first time. After all, your mortgage payment will probably equate to anywhere from a quarter to a half of your income each month.

 

Luckily, there are many resources available to help you navigate the financial nuances of the homebuying process. We have actually written several posts that could be of use to you, but we will summarize each of them here. Our goal is to help you out and alleviate as best we can any concerns or fears you have about the homebuying process, and we hope that this post as well as the others we have written prove to be useful for you throughout this long and exciting process.

 

Our first financial tip for first-time homebuyers is to save as much as possible leading up to the homebuying process and to create a thorough and accurate budget. Creating a budget is one of the most effective ways to maximize savings, and the more you have saved for a down payment, the less you will need to finance on your mortgage. The less you need to finance, they less interest you pay. It all works out very well in the end! The concept of creating a detailed budget may be off-putting for some people, and that is totally normal. Sometimes it is difficult to figure out where to start. In this post on creating a budget to save for your home, we outline some of the most important steps you can take to craft an accurate budget that maximizes your monthly savings.

 

Our second financial tip for first-time homebuyers is to do your due diligence when it comes to taking out a mortgage. As one of the biggest financial commitments of your life, you will want to make sure that you agree to loan from the lender with the most favorable terms. Not all mortgages are created equally and finding the right mortgage for you can equal hundreds more in your bank account per month, or thousands of dollars of savings throughout the life of the mortgage. Everyone has different financial objectives, backgrounds, and capabilities, and there is no one size fits all mortgage out there that is best for everyone. This post will offer up all you need to know about mortgages and what kind of mortgage may be best for you.

On top of mortgages, there are many other kinds of loans you can use to purchase all or part of a house. FHA loans are a great alternative for people who cannot afford a large down payment, as they allow down payments as low as 3.5%. There are also VA loans which are offered to veterans and USDA loans which are usually a good option for rural homebuyers.

 

Another element to consider that may help to alleviate some financial woes that come with buying your first house, and our third financial tip, is to investigate the various tax deductions and credits that are afforded to homeowners and homebuyers. These deductions and credits can include expenses incurred by doing necessary repairs on your home, the money you pay as interest on your mortgage, the property taxes you will likely be required to pay, and more. We wrote a post about the tax breaks that are offered to homeowners, and if you are worried about finances while shopping for your first home, I highly recommend you read that post as well.

 

Finally, the time of the year that you buy your house can have a large say in the price that you pay as well. It is important to determine whether or not you are in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market, and it is equally important to understand the effects of seasonality on house prices. We wrote a post explaining the differences between a buyer’s market and a seller’s market, but the gist of it is that certain conditions are favorable to buyers and other conditions are favorable to sellers. Determining the current situation in the area where you are looking to buy a home is important to helping you land the best deal and understand the factors at play in your negotiations.

 

In addition to the buyer’s and seller’s market questions, you should also consider the time of the year that you buy your home. Prices tend to be higher in the summer, but there are usually more houses up for sale as well. In the winter, the amount of houses on the market tends to dip but the prices tend to dip along with them. We wrote a whole post about this, and taking the month into consideration can save you thousands of dollars on your home price if this is an area in which you can be flexible.

 

At the end of the day, it is undeniable that the financial side of buying your first house can be very scary. That level of financial commitment is new to most first-time homebuyers, and the sheers size of the numbers involved can intimidate just about anyone. However, by doing your homework on mortgages, learning about tax break opportunities available to you, and budgeting properly, you can sign the papers with much more confidence and security.

 

Logistical Concerns About Buying Your First House

 

black and brown Dachshund standing in box

 

While finances are a major source of stress and anxiety for new homebuyers, they are not the only one. Logistical concerns are another large slew of worries that new homebuyers often have on their plates. By logistical concerns, we are referring to the countless non-financial moving pieces involved with buying a house. These include arranging move-in dates, finding and hiring a moving company, packing up your current home, and more. Moreover, if you are moving to a new state there is another laundry list of things you need to do to make the move go smoothly and without a hitch.

 

Firstly, if you are moving to another state, there are several things you need to consider. This list includes taxes, address changes across state lines, updating documents like driver’s licenses, and reregistering your car or cars, for starters. We wrote a whole post about things to know before moving to another state, and it is definitely worth a read if you are moving to a state other than the one you live in right now. The hoops you need to jump through when moving to a new state are not scary or challenging, but they can be pesky if you don’t have all of your ducks in a row. The post I mentioned above will help you to figure out what exactly needs to be done.

 

Other than the change of state requirements, there are a few logistical aspects of the homebuying process that you need to work through. They can be broken up into the house hunting phase, the homebuying phase, and the move-in phase. We will briefly explain a few of the things that you can start thinking about for each phase.

 

The House Hunting Phase

 

brown and white concrete house

During the house hunting phase, the biggest hurdle is finding the time to actually go and tour homes. If you are moving to a new area or state, this means coordinating a trip (or several) to the area to tour homes before buying one. Finding the perfect home is about more than just the house itself, too – it is about the neighborhood and/or community where that house is located. Finding the right community and having the right neighbors is often just as important as finding the right house! This is part of what makes site visits crucial. If you are able to go on a visit to the area where you plan on buying a home, spend a day or two exploring the area, determining the best places and neighborhoods to live in, and figuring out if there are any places where you specifically do not want to live.

 

If you are not able to find the time to conduct a site visit or two, modern technology has created ways in which you can tour new homes from the comfort of your current home. Digital tours, both through 3D renditions and live video streams, are an increasingly popular way to tour houses when you are unable to physically attend them. This practice became even more popular throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, as many realtors and homebuyers were hesitant or legally barred from meeting in person to show homes.

 

The Homebuying Phase

 

man writing on paper

During the homebuying phase, the most complicated part is finding the time to navigate all of the beaucracy that is involved with purchasing a home. As most people that are looking to buy a house are also working a full-time job, finding the time to meet with mortgage lenders, sign papers, and meet with various vendors is a tall task.

 

One thing you should do to help with this part of the process is hire a realtor. While some first-time homebuyers think that they can get away without hiring a realtor, this really is not a good idea and you should be sure to find a quality realtor to help you with the homebuying process. We wrote an entire post about why realtors are necessary, but basically hiring a good realtor saves you significant amounts of time and money, and you will probably save more money than it costs. Realtors know their way around the local real estate market and can use some tricks of the trade to cut costs, cut through bureaucratic red tape, and expedite the process to get you moved into your new home sooner.

 

In addition to having a quality realtor, you want to make sure you hire a good inspector to check out the house before you commit to buying it. Having a good quality contractor evaluate the home can save you major headaches down the line, as they are able to detect problems with the foundation, roof, and structure of the house that could otherwise appear a few months down the line and cost you thousands of dollars. A home inspection is a standard part of the homebuying process that a realtor will make sure you don’t forget, but those who decide to skip out on using a realtor are left to hiring a good home inspector themselves. Realtors have trustworthy contacts that they use on a weekly basis, proving their value to you even further.

 

The Move-In Phase

woman in blue denim jacket standing beside woman in black shirt

 

Once you have found the perfect home and signed on all of the dotted lines, the fun part begins. You are finally able to start furnishing your new home and making it your own. Before you can get everything all set up in your new home, you need to get your things there in the first place! Hiring a good moving company can really make or break your homebuying experience, as showing up to your new home with broken or missing items is not a happy way to start. Quality moving companies can be trusted to safely and efficiently get all of your items from point A to point B, leaving you relaxed and ready to spend your time decorating and planning rather than hauling heavy boxes and driving vans back and forth.

 

Additionally, you want to make sure that you set up any utilities in advance to your move in date so that you have service upon arrival. Whether this means Wi-Fi, water, electricity, or gas, you want to make sure that the core functions of your house are working when you arrive so that you can set your home to a comfortable temperature, take a warm shower, and cook a meal once your kitchen is finally set up.

 

 

Thanks for reading our post about the things to expect as a first-time homebuyer! Hopefully this post has been informative as you begin to navigate the complex process of buying a home for the first time. While the homebuying process can be long and intimidating, it is all worth it in the end when you feel the sense of accomplishment and pride that comes with owning your own home. Expect hoops to jump through and snags along the way; that is the nature of the beast. These things are to be expected, and they are nothing that you can’t handle! As realtors ourselves, we understand the struggles and worries that might be facing you as you look to buy your first house, and we are here to help.

If you visit Myrtle Beach or any other place in South Carolina and fall in love, reach out to us for help. We at The Boyd Team are always here to help you figure out whether Myrtle Beach is your next home or not, and we are committed to helping you find the right property for your needs and dreams. Any question that you have about moving to the area and finding your dream home by the beach is our pleasure to answer. Feel free to send us an email at eddie@boydteam.com or text or call us at (843) 222-8566, and we will get back to you as soon as we can. Being true natives of the Grand Strand and Horry County and with over 25 years of experience in the local real estate market, whether buying or selling, we can help you make your dreams a reality.  

No One Knows The Grand Strand Better! Trust, Knowledge, Experience, Professionalism, You Can Count On!

Written by Greg