A curb-side view of a large house

A quick checklist for buying a house for the first time

What do you need to think about before buying a house for the first time? You’ve likely been working and saving up for a few years now and might be in a financial place to make it happen. But should you?

Even if the desire to own a home is there, applying for a mortgage is a big step that will impact your life in a major way. It's never a bad idea to take stock of your life when committing to such a critical decision. Before you go any further, here is a quick list of things to consider.

Job stability

Is your job stable? Do you plan on being with the same company for many years? What would you do if you lost your job?

These are all questions that you need to consider before you start looking for a home. You want to be comfortable with your ability to pay the bills, and be able to handle an unexpected loss of income. 

Life stability

Are you where you want to be in life? Have you found the city you want to be in? Have you decided whether want to live with someone else long term? Do you expect a to have a child in the near future?

These are all things to think about before you put down your life savings on a property. Your life situation can change dramatically and you cannot plan for every moment, but it's important to plan for the things you can control. Do your best to understand where you are, potential changes on the horizon and how these changes will impact your life.

Consider you options

Be ready to work for yourself. Do not find a house, pay the asking price and take out a mortgage from your bank. Negotiate. Your mortgage is likely to be the greatest expense you will ever shoulder. Look around for quotes. The savings over the lifetime of your mortgage can be astronomical. 

Your credit score

How’s your credit? Have you fixed blemishes on your credit report?

With a poor credit score, it can be difficult to find a lender to approve you for a mortgage. You may have to wait a few years while you build up your credit score, but take steps to incite change as quickly as possible. Need a Loan is dedicated to helping people in this situation, but it never hurts to help yourself.

You have enough money saved up

Do you have enough money saved up? Have you thought about saving up to deal with the expenses of moving?

Buying a home is an expensive process. You want to be prepared for anything and everything that will come your way. This also involves the cost of furnishing the guest bedroom and throwing that housewarming party. There are expenses beyond the major purchase that can add up quickly if you aren't prepared.

A plan for dealing with home renovations

What are you going to do about work around the home? Are you handy? Do you have a friend you can call to help with electrical work? Are you ready to shovel the snow in the winter?

It's worth thinking about how work on your home will get done. Don't just assume you can repaint the whole house without any prior experience. 

Hopefully this checklist will help out in a broad sense. There are details you can obsess over, but these are the major considerations worth making.