5 Tips for College Graduates Ready to Buy a Home

5 Tips for College Graduates Ready to Buy a Home

You've passed one major milestone in your life--graduating from college--and now, you're ready for another: buying your own home. Owning your home, rather than renting, has a number of key advantages over renting. A large advantage of owning over renting includes building equity in your own home, rather than simply paying for someone else's property. Before you jump into homeownership make sure you're paying attention to these key tips.

Related Blog: 4 Key Factors to Consider When Buying a House on the Florida Gulf Coast

1. Know your loans

Depending on your employment situation, there are different types of loans available for recent college grads. The fact that you've held your position for only a short time doesn't necessarily disqualify you for a loan, but it does mean that you'll need to know what options are available to you. Look for loans that will qualify you with a full-time job, even if you've only been there for a little while--and seek out programs for recent college grads. New York, for example, is offering a program that will help provide college grads with help buying their first homes--and there are similar programs available in other states.

2. Make sure you're in a job you'll be able to keep

A short employment duration is one thing. A job that will end up disappearing in a matter of weeks or months is another altogether. Before you jump into home ownership, make sure you have a job in your field of study that you're planning to keep long-term. No matter how easy it might be to get a new job in your field, you don't want to be trapped by a mortgage without a job to pay for it.

3. Know how much house you can afford

It seems like a relatively simple equation: you know how much you're making each month, and with a little basic budgeting, you can figure out what you can afford in terms of house payments. It's important to make sure that you're factoring in all the important financial details that go along with home ownership, including:

  • Homeowner's insurance
  • Potential repair and maintenance costs around the house
  • Taxes
  • Dues

Take the time to clearly evaluate exactly how much house you can really afford--and remember to factor in other important costs, like needed seminars or certifications for your future employment, too.

4. Plan for the future

Right now, a little one or two-bedroom house might seem like it's just the right size for you. Make sure that you're taking your future needs into consideration, too. Think about the future potential for children, how your income status may change based on future plans, and the area that you'll eventually want to live in. While it's fine to begin with a "starter house" and sell it for a future home purchase, you'll also want to make sure that your house will fit your needs for several years. Is this the place where you really want to live long-term, or are you planning to look for a job in a different area? Do you have thoughts of marrying soon, or is that something that's still a long way away? By thinking through the details of the future, you can make yourself happier in your new home.

5. Pay attention during renovations

Sure, you want your home to be exactly what you want--but you don't want to spend so much money on your first house that you're never able to move out, either. Pay attention to how much you're spending during renovations, and make sure that you're carefully considering the future value that you'll bring to your home. Make frugal choices that will ultimately bring value--but don't be afraid to spend a little more to get quality materials or items, either.

Home ownership is a big step, but it's one that will be worth it in the end. If you're ready to embark on the path to home ownership, contact us. We'll work with you to secure a loan that will meet your needs in spite of your short tenure at your current place of employment.

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