Before signing any paperwork, new homeowners should make sure that they can afford the down payment as well as monthly costs such as insurance, mortgage, taxes and repairs, recommends Forbes. It is a good idea to look into first-time-buyer tax credits and avoid family-assistance taxes by structuring any assistance from family members as a legitimate loan with the lowest possible interest rate allowed by the IRS.
As new homeowners plan their finances, it is important to keep realistic expectations, recommends USA Today. Planning for a wage increase or other factor that could affect the buyer's financial standing is risky. Even if future expectations are not met, the buyer still needs to be able to fulfill all financial responsibilities.
It may be possible to find a good deal by shopping for foreclosed homes, suggests Forbes. Potential buyers may want to consider hiring a real estate agent and getting a pre-approval from a lender before shopping for foreclosed homes. Hiring a home inspector can prevent potentially costly problems in the future. Another way to keep costs down is to avoid areas with high property taxes.
Before shopping for home insurance, new homeowners should install smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, a security system and other safety features to keep the insurance rate to a minimum, recommends Forbes. If the homeowner has car, boat or any other property insurance already, it may be advantageous to seek a reduced rate by adding homeowners insurance to the portfolio.