For first-time homebuyers, purchasing your first home in the Charleston, SC area can feel intimidating and overwhelming, especially if you are buying your first home alone. There are questions such as, what can I afford? What is a good interest rate? Is my credit good enough? Do I have enough to put down? How much should I put down? Due to all of these questions and uncertainty, many first-time homebuyers give up on their search for a home, or worse, they decide home buying isn’t realistic for them at this time and they continue to toss their money down the drain with monthly rentals. So, if you are interested in purchasing a house for yourself but you are not sure where to start, here are a few key concepts about homeownership that you should understand before you begin your home-buying journey!


Get a Full Picture of Home Ownership Costs

Buying a home is never as simple as paying a mortgage payment each month. So, as with most budgets, the first place to start is a full consideration of everything involved. On top of your mortgage, what other monthly costs will come up? Consider utilities like electricity, phone, cable, water, and others. You’ll be responsible for property taxes, so find out how much other local owners are paying. If you’re buying into a community, you may have to pay monthly fees to a homeowners’ association. When you’re visiting open houses and talking to owners, be sure to get a full picture of their monthly costs. It will help you build a responsible budget.


Keep Your Credit as Strong as Possible

It might sound obvious, but keeping your credit or FICO score spotless is important. Buying a home on a single income means that you’ll most likely want a lower mortgage payment. Depending on the home you’re buying, this might be significant. Your credit score is one of many factors your lender will use to assess you, but it’s the most important. So, keep those bills paid on time to avoid any negative impact on your credit report.


Plan Ahead For Unexpected Budget Shocks

Don’t forget to think ahead about events that may shock your finances because unfortunately, unexpected things happen to all of us! Having one income means that you will want to plan for a worst-case scenario (just to play it safe). Consider the different types of insurance you can get on your mortgage and home in the event that you are in-between jobs, for example, and how much you’ll need to put away in a “rainy day fund” each month. While it may feel like a bit more of a struggle, it’s still completely doable to buy a home on a single income, you just have to play it smart.


Turn to Team Lail-Chambers to Help Find the Perfect Charleston Home 

When you're ready to buy your first home, you want to make sure you have the right team to make the process easy and stress-free. That’s why you should make the call to Team Lail-Chambers. Our team of experts led by Bob Chambers and Pheobe Lail-Chambers are some of the most professional agents you’ll encounter and will give you the easiest home-buying experience imaginable. We can help you determine your top priorities and find a place that accommodates both your tastes and your budget. Our staff knows the Lowcountry well and is acquainted with all of the facilities, resources, and services available in each community. We’ll make sure to fit you with a home you’ll love!