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Buying your first home is a special milestone in life. Be it an apartment, villa, or a plot to construct your home, this is more than an investment. Instead, it is a culmination of one’s hopes and dreams manifested within a physical space.

However, the journey leading up to this moment is often cumbersome and riddled with complicated research and paperwork. For someone new to the world of residential real estate, this process can be intimidating and tedious.

But it doesn’t have to be, thanks to this list of top 5 tips for new homebuyers specially curated by Prestige’s in-house experts! Follow these and leap towards your dream:

Set a Realistic Budget

One of the first steps in the journey of buying a residential property is setting a realistic budget. Before first-time homebuyers can start browsing residential home listings, it's advisable to take a close look at one's finances to set a price range. It’s always good to consider your income, savings, and current expenses before taking this leap to buy a house.

Create a budget checklist that outlines how much you can safely afford for your monthly mortgage payment, property taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs. You also need to consider one-time expenses in your budget, which will include the down payment, closing costs and move-in expenses like interiors, upgrades, etc. 

This is essential especially to ensure one is not overextending themselves financially and creating scope for future stress and financial instability. Having a cushion in your budget and preparing for unexpected expenses is a wise estimation that one should make at the get-go.

Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

It’s important to get pre-approved for a home loan before you begin house hunting. This process includes working with the bank which will evaluate your financial situation and provide a pre-approval letter indicating the loan amount. Having such a letter will help optimize home search.

However, ensure you do your research on mortgage rates and terms and find a deal that best fits your requirements as it is a long-term commitment. It is also important to figure out which loan type suits your needs the best, be it a fixed-rate loan with consistent payments or an adjustable-rate loan with potential rate changes over time.

Qualifying for a loan and the flexibility with interest rates also depend on your credit score, so ensure you maintain a higher score to get a lower interest rate.

Research the Neighborhood

Location is a key factor when buying a home, so make sure you spend enough time researching the neighborhoods you're interested in to ensure they align with your lifestyle and future plans. Consider factors like proximity to work, schools, public transportation, healthcare facilities and other amenities such as grocery stores, parks, etc.

Visiting neighborhoods at different times of the day and week can provide insights into the community's atmosphere and safety. It's also a good idea to check local crime rates and school ratings if you have children or plan to in the future. Not rushing this step is advisable because finding the right neighborhood is just as important as finding the right house.

Work with a Qualified Real Estate Agent or a Reputed Real Estate Developer

Partnering with an experienced real estate agent can make a world of difference in your home-buying experience. In case you are planning to go for a residential flat in a gated community, ensuring to go with a reputed real estate developer is crucial. Much like a skilled agent, relationship managers assigned by such real estate companies will guide you through the process and be your one-point contact from purchase to possession.

Seek recommendations from friends, family or colleagues when choosing an agent or a real estate developer brand. Once you find the right fit, it gets easier to navigate the intricacies of making an offer and closing the deal.

Don't Skip the Home Inspection

No matter the type of home or how perfect a home may seem, never skip the home inspection. This is crucial especially if you are planning to buy a resale property.

Be it a villa, an independent house or a residential apartment, professional inspection can uncover hidden issues that may not be apparent during a casual viewing. It's your chance to identify potential problems and negotiate repairs or home price adjustments with the seller.

Attend the inspection if possible, so you can ask questions and gain a better understanding of the home's condition. This step can save you from costly surprises down the road and ensure that you're making an informed decision.

Buying your first home is an exciting journey that requires careful planning and consideration. Remember that patience and diligence with the right guidance are key to finding the right property that you can soon call home.

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