Buying a home in Boston? For many Americans, buying a house is a long-held dream or at least a long-worked-toward goal. But when it is finally within reach, expectations don’t always line up with the reality, especially on the financial end. A study from last year found that nearly 50% of Americans who bought a house didn’t anticipate the amount they would spend on closing costs, repairs and maintenance, decorating and landscaping, or all of the above.
What are your expectations for your first home? We bet that the home you buy will be different than what you imagined. Buying a home is both an emotional decision and a financial one, and many buyers find themselves surprised by the actions of others involved in the transaction, what they might have to pay or how long it takes to close on a property.
Knowing more about the reality – what you should actually expect – will go a long way toward heading off disappointment. So let’s examine that expectations vs. reality with respect to buying a home in Boston.
The Down Payment
One of the first places where expectations and reality diverge when it comes to buying a home in Boston is the down payment. This seems to be the first shocking point to many first-timers. It’s also one of the most heartbreaking ones to explain to them too. Many times, they have saved for several years and come in with what they think is a sizable down payment, but, in reality, it’s less than what is needed.
Often, this is the result of buyers choosing a home that is actually out of their price range – one that requires a much larger down payment than they had anticipated.
Homebuyers who have bought their own homes before and are used to having their down payment supplemented by mom and dad or gift funds, can be especially taken aback at first. While most buyers will know that they will need funds for the closing costs (those fees that everyone seems to have forgotten during their calculations), they do not always consider how much house they can afford. The amount of money needed for your down payment depends upon the down payment requirements your loan type/lender requires to purchase your home. These requirements vary from lender to lender.
Another similar area where expectations and reality don’t always jibe is in all the additional costs of owning and buying a house in Boston. Many buyers think that the down payment is all of the upfront cost in buying a house. But that’s far from the reality.
There are, in fact, a number of additional upfront costs as well as ongoing expenses, for example:
- Attorney fees
- Closing costs
- HOA fees
- Private mortgage insurance
- Property taxes
- Homeowners insurance
- Utility bills
- Maintenance and repairs
- Moving expenses
Many home buyers who have been renting are completely unprepared for these additional costs. At NextHome Titletown Real Estate, we can assist you in factoring all these in so that you won’t be taken by surprise.
Certainly, buying a home can be fun and exciting and sometimes even easy. But, typically, the whole process won’t be like that.
Most of the time, buying a home in Boston means that you’ll spend a long time searching for just the right house – one that meets your needs both with respect to features and price. Often, this involves viewing homes at inconvenient times after work and on weekends. It may also entail a great deal of compromise and give and take. Very seldom will the first or one of the first few homes you view be the one.
But once you find that perfect home, you’ll probably feel so excited about it that you don’t want to look at other options. You might have your heart set on owning it and might try to negotiate the price without being reasonable. We have had the opportunity to call on many first-time, home-purchasing clients, and we receive more than my fair share of calls asking for guidance in this purchase process.
Getting What You Want
Similarly, expectations and reality seldom match when it comes to getting exactly what you want in a home. Holding out for everything you want can make the process long and burdensome.
You will have to make some compromises. Unless you’re designing and building your dream house, it’s not likely that every aspect on your wish list will be perfectly addressed. As you start to look at more and more houses, compromise sets in. It’s not always compromise with each other either: it can be with your budget, location, or any number of your must-haves vs. nice to have list.
But with the assistance of a qualified local agent, you’re far more likely to find a home that meets more of your criteria and checks more of your boxes. Find out how this works by calling (617) 657-9811.
Sure, there are a host of websites and apps available today to help you find the home you want. And these are great for the initial stages of house hunting, but they just can’t do what a local agent can. In this case, the expectations fall far short of the reality.
Here’s one important reason why relying on these sites and apps alone for buying a home in Boston isn’t the best course. A lot of houses aren’t listed on these apps in real-time. By the time [you] see them show up, they’re already pending in this fast-selling market.
Your agent at NextHome Titletown, on the other hand, will actually have access to pre-construction projects and for-sale homes that aren’t even listed yet. And this can give you a huge advantage over the buying competition.
If you truly want to avoid the disappointment and financial surprises associated with buying a house when expectations and reality don’t line up, contact an experienced local real estate agent. We know the local market and will know exactly what lies in store for you when it comes to down payments and other upfront costs, as well as how to streamline the process and help you get what you want. So if you’re ready to buy a home in Boston, contact us today at (617) 657-9811.
Boston and Beyond – Just Hit the Market!
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