The housing market has always been a bewildering place, especially for those who have never purchased property before, and the credit crunch/sub-prime lending crisis has only added to the confusion. On the one hand, I have found that many first time buyers are finding great opportunities with house prices falling significantly.
However, buying a home is still a major commitment, no matter how great of a deal you find. So to avoid regret, here are a few steps I think you'll find helpful:
- Work out a Budget. If you currently have a steady job, a decent credit score and saved some money for a downpayment, you will have a much easier time applying for and finding an affordable mortgage.
- Don’t be tempted to borrow more than you can afforded. And I'd like to add “comfortably afford”. It's always a good idea to leave yourself a cushion for a potential increases in your cost of living, such as food and fuel prices. Also think about what you'll need for furnishing, renovation and decoration, and other home-buying expenses.
- Decide what kind of property you needed. How many bedrooms are you looking for? Is outside space, or secure parking important to you? Make a wishlist to help you decide what's essential and what is just a luxury.