Buying a home at the young age of 26 is an uncommon phenomenon these days. With the nerve-wracking student loans and insufficient healthcare plans, a lot of millennials are finding it logical to put homeownership in the backseat. Some wait till they get married to figure this out, while others want to wait till they hit mid-thirties. But if you are in your twenties and want to plan ahead for buying a house soon in the coming years, this article is just for you. We have compiled the best tips to help you achieve your dream of becoming a homeowner!
Figure out where you want to live
Having a sure and definite idea about where exactly you want to live is very important. While the city’s hustle and bustle suit some, many others prefer to settle down in quieter neighborhoods. Maybe you want to settle down in the same neighborhood you grew up, or you feel that another state is a better option for you. Knowing the answer to this will help you in a lot of ways in the long term. The location of an apartment decides its price too, but many other aspects are affected as well. The terms on your mortgage loan, your cost of utility payments, and gas prices for the commute to work, etc. all change from one place to another. If you have kids, you might have to look into the availability of preschools, schools, parks, etc. in the vicinity. Your house should also be situated in a city or district that sees high employment rates with a respectable number of job opportunities in your field of work in the vicinity.
Manage your credit score
Admittedly, having a good credit score at this age is not that easy. So, you need to start building towards a good credit score, because a low score will cause a lot of problems when you try to get your mortgage approved. For someone who has zero credit, there is still hope. You can start with a small limit on a new credit card. Make sure you pay it off each month on time. If you are someone who already has a decent credit score, you should also clear your balances on time and go through the credit report. Doing so will help you in increasing your credit score over time.
Save up for the down payment
The down payment for your home is going to be extremely hard to put together if you do not start the process at least a year beforehand. Chalk up a budget you can follow, and add a decent amount from your source/s of income into the savings for your down payment. Be it ten percent of your salary or twenty, set an amount to be saved that is realistic with your other, already existing responsibilities and expenses. The bottom line is, you need to start saving up way before you make the down payment. Make sure that the budget you finalize is easy to follow and reasonable too.
Do your due diligence
Just like you are strongly advised against going to a car dealership without any knowledge of the car you want to buy, you also have to do a fair bit of research before buying a house. This can look like visiting the house during peak rush hours to see how the traffic is, driving there at night and in the morning, talking to the people who live nearby, and just having a look at the neighborhood parks and community areas. If there is a neighborhood association, ask if you can sit in one of their meetings.
Buy a home you can afford
The last tip may seem obvious, but it is a helpful reminder. Keep in mind that just because you have been approved for a certain amount, it does not mean you have to buy in that range only. So, aim for a home whose price won’t add additional strain to your expenses and life in general. Look for options that fit your budget and financial conditions the best. You can always save up more and get a bigger house later on in life.