Buying Your First Home

Buying a home is a very exciting event; you may be moving out on your own for the first time or making the purchase with your spouse or partner. It’s a life change that comes with a lot of responsibilities as well as happiness, so it’s important to understand what you’re getting into and to have a good plan to get through it. Real estate dealings can be very stressful, especially if it’s your first experience, so it may help to have a parent or friend who has already been through it at your side to help make the process go a little more smoothly.

But once the contract is signed and money is paid – does it get easier? Remember, you must take care of one aspect of home buying that usually causes quite a bit of stress: moving in!

You can also do some research before making any decisions. Everything from choosing a moving company to packing up your belongings needs to be planned well so you won’t be hit with any nasty surprises down the road. Write out a list of all the things you want to accomplish before, during, and after the move so you can stay organized and keep track of your tasks.

Keep reading for great tips on how to make your first home purchase as easy as possible.

Look Over Your Finances


Moving can be pretty costly if you don’t begin with a good plan, so sit down and write out all the things you’ll need to pay for at the very beginning of your planning stage. Include hiring the moving company, acquiring packing materials, paying to have utilities turned on in the new house, buying cleaning supplies, and paying for closing costs. Also, make sure you have cash on hand for tipping the movers and for grabbing any last-minute extras, such as lunch for those who are helping out on moving day. After all, a happy crew is an efficient crew.

Declutter and Downsize


You may be surprised at how many belongings you’ve accumulated, even if you’ve only lived in your current home for a short time, so downsizing may be in order. Go through each room and declutter, throwing away or donating items you no longer need or use. Don’t forget to look in closets, drawers, and cabinets! For extra-large items you won’t have room for in the new house, or sentimental objects you can’t bear to part with but don’t need to bring with you, consider renting a storage space. This will keep you from having to pack, haul, and unpack these items and will keep them safe until you can find a more permanent solution. Keep in mind that the average cost of a storage unit in New York, New York, over the last 180 days is about $100.24.

Stay Organized

Staying organized is one of the keys to ensuring your home-buying experience is a positive one. You might keep a folder for all the paperwork (you can pick up a document box at retailers like Staples for around $10) so that everything is in one place, make lists of things you want to accomplish and buy, and clean and straighten your current home before you start packing. This will help you keep all the things from each room together so the boxes are nice and neat.

Get Some Help


Moving day will be a flurry of activity, so it’s important to make sure you have enough help. Ask friends and family members to assist in taking small or fragile loads in their own cars, or to stay at the old place to clean up. If you have small children or pets, it will be extremely helpful to have someone look after them during the process so that they don’t get lost or hurt. You may need to hire a pet sitter to keep an eye on your furry pals, which can run around $30 per hour.

Moving into your new home is a wonderful rite of passage, but it can also be overwhelming if you aren’t prepared. Starting with a good plan will help you ensure nothing gets overlooked and that the experience is a positive one from beginning to end.

A guest post by Jim McKinley