AFFORDABILITY OPTIONS FOR FIRST-TIME BUYERS
written by: Amy Vonachen
Reports that today’s first-time buyers, when choosing a house, expect more than they can afford in a home. And after facing reality, they may feel quite discouraged. Over 81 percent of first-time buyers pay extra attention to move-in conditions and rank them to be essentially important, while only 7 percent of surveyed customers said that affordability was their primary goal and considered fixer-upper houses to be a possible housing option.
Only 10 years ago first-time buyers were willing to purchase smaller, older houses in more distant suburbs in order to save money and become homeowners as quickly as possible. Today, buyers expect houses to be more luxurious, with refined design and definitely bigger. But bigger doesn’t necessary mean better, especially when it comes to price.
Smaller houses in the outskirts, townhomes and condos are becoming a savings to those willing to make the drive, because you, as a homeowner, can pay off your mortgage and build equity over time. Consequently, you have an option to exchange your house for a second-stage home that will reflect your home expectations much better.
Luckily, there are certain tips from experienced real estate brokers that may help first-time buyers to make right decision when purchasing homes.
The first and foremost is to look at fixer-uppers, cheaper and smaller homes that will lower the home price. But before buying such a house, first-time buyers should have it carefully and professionally inspected to detect the cost of fixing. Houses that require certain substantial professional upgrades may come very cheap, but the buyer should weigh all cons and pros.
The second thing any first-time buyer should take into consideration is location and proximity to the workplace. Many customers see proximity to their office as a crucial factor in choosing a house, but they always have to remember that home’s proximity comes with a higher price. Choosing a cheaper house in a farther, remote neighborhood that offers inexpensive public transportation to work can solve both problems at once.
Never forget about such transit options like trip and car sharing or carpooling that can be easily arranged with your neighbor.
Finally, first-time buyers should spend at least twice the time searching for houses than they do or intend to do. Instead of looking at 5-10 houses, find time to check at least 20. The greatest discounts homebuyers can find are from houses that have been on the market for over 90 days, have been owned by long-term owners or have to be sold ASAP.
Amy Vonachen Realtor
3622 N. Knoxville Ave
Peoria, IL 61603