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There are many things that you should consider when you’re ready to buy your first home. One of the biggest concerns is the down payment, and many first-time buyers look for ways to minimize that obligation without releasing that paying less up front means making higher mortgage payments each month. Additionally, here are a few other factors to consider before committing to a new home purchase.

Shop Around For Mortgage Rates

When it comes to mortgages, the terms of your loan will vary greatly based upon several factors. While your credit score and income to debt ratio make up some of those considerations, it’s important to realize that each lender offers different rates. You should shop around to find lenders that offer you the most favorable terms for first-time home buyers. Ideally, you should put no more than 28% of your monthly income towards your mortgage, but keeping your interest as low as possible is also an important consideration.

Look For a Good Location

Before you make an offer on any home, visit it a couple of times to make sure it’s in a good location. Touring the home on a weekday afternoon isn’t going to give you a good impression of what it will be like to live in the area. Visit it on the weekend and in the evening. You should also watch out for homes that are near railroad tracks or close to an airport. Something that seems like a mild nuisance now may become a bigger source of contention after living in the home for several years.

Look For the Right Size

If you plan on growing your family, you may want a home with extra bedrooms. Be sure it also has extra bathrooms. However, if you don’t plan on having more children, a smaller home may be the better choice. Keep in mind that larger homes require more care and cleaning, and they’re more difficult to heat and cool throughout the year. Look for a home that’s large enough to meet your anticipated needs, but one that’s not going to be too much for your family to maintain.

Even when a deal sounds great and falls within your price range, take the time to look closer at the market. You may still be overpaying for the property. This is why it’s common for experienced buyers to work with a real estate agent or attorney. A professional can help you avoid making a costly mistake on your first home.