Buying a house is one of the biggest investment decisions you will make, so you must make an informed decision. Failure to do so could be disastrous on many counts, financially, emotionally, and (because all these things are connected) for your health and well-being!
That may sound like an exaggeration, but it’s not. Imagine what would happen if you fell in love with a cute little cottage on the bank of a beautiful river, bought it, and then discovered it was downstream from a poorly run manufacturing plant that was spewing toxins into the river, or a neglected hydroelectric facility (dam!) that was on the verge of collapsing! Either of these scenarios could certainly affect your health, couldn’t they?
These are extreme situations that most people could manage to avoid, but they serve to illustrate the fact that a poor real estate purchase could have dire consequences, so it pays to do whatever you can to make sure you are buying the right house for you and your family.
Right now you are enticed by very low mortgage rates, home buying incentive programs, and (depending on where you are) a plethora of housing choices, making homeownership possible for many. It might be the right time for you to buy if you have some money for a down payment, a reasonably secure income, and the desire for your place.
The Help of a Buyer’s Agent
First-time buyers should consider enlisting the help of a buyer’s agent, someone who can guide you through the process of choosing and purchasing a house that meets your needs and fits your budget.
Make a list of features that you require, and those that you would like but aren’t necessary. Think about things like:
- Proximity to work (or to transit that you can take to work);