roadmap for the first-time luxury home buyer

Are you ready to buy a luxury home? Whether it’s determining a budget or finding your ideal luxury home, you may not be sure where to begin as a first-time home buyer. This is a big life step, so going into the purchase blind could have serious long-term repercussions.

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2 Crucial Steps to Take Before House Shopping

Following these two steps will give you the confidence you need to take the leap into homeownership.

Understand What You Can Afford

It’s important to realistically nail down your budget. Buying a luxury home means you’ll be paying more. To ensure you’re prepared, you’ll first want to shop around for a preapproval to compare rates. After the bank gives you a number, you should also take your financial situation into account.

Add up your monthly debts and subtract that from your income. Subtract that figure from the quoted mortgage payment. Ask yourself if you’ll be comfortable with what you have left. You should also keep in mind that there are hidden costs to homeownership, including:

  • The higher utility bills associated with a luxury property
  • Any maintenance or repairs the home needs over time
  • Property taxes, home insurance, and HOA fees

Consider Where You Want to Live

Evaluate as many of the luxury communities in your area as you can before settling on one. These neighborhoods offer amenities that may vary from community to community. You may find:

  • Parks and hiking trails
  • Stunning golf courses
  • Outdoor pools and spas
  • Dining establishments

If you commute back and forth to work, you may want to search for a home closer to the highway. Home buyers looking for convenience may opt for a property near shopping centers, gas stations, etc. Those with children might also want to research schools before deciding on an area.

Related: Which Luxury Amenities Are Worth It? [Market Value Checklist]

Beginning the Luxury Home Buying Process: 3 Beneficial Tips

Now that you’re ready to begin house hunting, there are several steps you can take to ensure a smooth transaction.  

Find A Real Estate Agent Who’s Right for You

Finding a luxury real estate agent is as easy as a Google search, but it may take a bit more work to find the right one. As a first-time buyer unfamiliar with the real estate process, it’s best to work with a licensed REALTOR. These professionals commit to dealing with their clients fairly and honestly. When considering your options, ask questions like:

  • How long have you been involved in real estate?
  • What is your availability?
  • How long have you worked in this area?

The answers to these questions will help you determine the best fit. You’ll want someone who knows the area well and has a lot of experience in buying luxury homes. Schedule a meeting to see how you interact with each other. When you find someone who really cares about your goals, you’ll be well on your way to finding that perfect home!

Related: Why Luxury Real Estate Experience Matters When Choosing an Agent

Understand the Home Buying Process

Knowing how the home buying process works is crucial. A qualified REALTOR can explain the process to you in detail and set realistic expectations. Once you decide on a home, your REALTOR will submit an offer. Once the offer is approved by the seller, it will take time for the deal to close. Depending on the circumstances, first-time buyer loans typically close within 50 days. During this time, you should finish the home inspection and address repairs to prevent further delays.

Don’t Max Out Your Budget

A bank might tell you that you can afford more house than you originally believed. However, this doesn’t mean that you should shop for a home in that price range. If there’s little left in your budget, the home could be too much for you to afford later down the line. Ensure a successful long-term investment by choosing a luxury home that leaves plenty of funds for unexpected expenses.