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Adulting 101: How to Buy a House in Your 20s

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Thinking of adulting like a pro by buying a house in your twenties? Don't worry, we've got your back! Jump aboard this Adulting 101 train and let's get you that key to your very own house!

Thinking of buying a house in your twenties? We know it can seem impossible, but let us tell you: it's totally doable.

We've gathered some of the best tips and tricks to make purchasing a house in your twenties as stress-free as possible. Whether you're looking to buy an investment property or take the leap into homeownership for yourself, we'll show you the ropes when it comes to the ins and outs of buying a house.

From getting pre-approved for a loan to deciding where to look for your perfect home, we'll provide some key considerations along the way so that your experience is smooth sailing. So take a deep breath—we're here to help you become an official adult with this Adulting 101 on how to buy a house in your twenties!

What You Need to Get Started

You’re ready to buy your first home, so what do you need to get started? Fortunately, you don’t have to go into this blind. Here are some key things that you need in order to make the mortgage process easier and smoother.

  • Start Saving: It helps if you have some money saved up before starting on this process, as lenders usually prefer a down payment of 20%. Set aside a portion of your paycheck each month so that you can build up your savings account.
  • Research Mortgage Options: Not all mortgages are the same, so read up on the different types available and how they could affect your budget and lifestyle.
  • Get Pre-Approved for A Loan: Before diving into the house-hunting process, get pre-approved for a loan. This will give you a better idea of what kind of homes are in reach and save time when making offers on houses.

Assess the Financials

Before taking the plunge and starting the process of buying a house in your twenties, you first need to assess your finances. This means getting a handle on your bank accounts—into which income is flowing, and out of which expenses are going.

Get an estimate of your household income, in order to determine what type of house you can comfortably afford. Then, look at your overall debt-to-income ratio (DTI), which will give you a sense of how much debt you are carrying relative to your income. If you're already carrying too much debt, it may be best to hold off on purchasing a house.

Make sure that you have sufficient cash saved up for down payments and closing costs. You should typically aim for having at least 20% of the purchase price saved up in liquid cash—this will help you avoid paying Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).

Remember to factor monthly living costs like mortgage payments, property taxes and insurance into your budget when evaluating home purchases; this is key to helping you remain financially stable in the long run.

Consider Your Needs & Wants

Buying a house is exciting, but it's important to be realistic and consider your needs and wants. Sit down, take a look at your budget, and figure out what you can actually afford. It's also important to think about all the costs involved with owning a home—not just the mortgage payment! 

You'll need to factor in things like taxes, insurance, utilities, repairs, and more.

Think about the features you want or need in a home—do you need 3 bedrooms? Is outdoor space important? Are you looking for easy access to public transportation? Make a list of all your needs and wants and prioritize them—this will help narrow down your options.

Another factor to consider is location. Take some time to explore different neighborhoods or communities that fit within your budget. Ask yourself if you'd feel comfortable living there and if it has the amenities that you're looking for.

Once you have an idea of what you can afford and what type of home you're looking for, it'll be easier to start searching and make an informed decision on where to purchase your first home!

Find the Right Location and Property Type

Now that you have an idea of your budget and how much you can afford, it’s time to start looking at houses. You want to think carefully about the location and property type, as this will be a serious investment and you want to make sure it’s the right fit.

Location

When it comes to location the old adage “location, location, location” holds true. You want to look for locations that are close to public transportation, good schools and have a low crime rate. Think about what kind of amenities are important for you—things like restaurants, parks or movie theaters—as these all factor in when looking for the best housing option.

Property Type

Are you looking for a house with a yard? A condo? Town house? The options are seemingly endless so think about what kind of lifestyle you want and which type of property best suits your needs.

For example, if you enjoy outdoor activities like gardening or grilling, then a single-family home with outdoor space is probably best for you. However if you prefer low maintenance living then a condo may be better since those come with shared amenities like pools or gyms.

It pays to do your research and compare different properties before making your decision – this will help ensure that it’s the right decision for years to come!

Research Home Loans & Loans Available

In Malaysia, there are plenty of options available to you. Don't worry, we won't leave you stranded in a sea of loan options. We'll help you figure out which one is best for you and your financial situation. 

Types of Home Loans

  • Conventional loans: These are the most common type of home loan in Malaysia, offered by banks and other financial institutions. They typically have fixed or variable interest rates and require a down payment.
  • Islamic loans: For those who prefer Shariah-compliant financing, Islamic loans offer an alternative to conventional loans. They operate on a profit-sharing model rather than charging interest.

Factors to Consider

  • Interest rates: Look for the lowest possible interest rates to save money over the life of your loan.
  • Loan tenure: Consider how long you want to pay off your loan, as longer tenures may result in higher interest rates.
  • Down payment: Be prepared to put down a sizable down payment, typically 10% to 20% of the property value.
  • Researching Lenders
  • Compare lenders: Don't settle for the first lender you come across – shop around and compare interest rates and terms from different banks and financial institutions.
  • Check for hidden fees: Look out for any hidden fees or charges that might be tacked onto your loan.
  • Read reviews: Do some online research to see what other customers have to say about the lender's customer service and experience.

Selecting the Right Real Estate Agent

When it comes to buying a house and becoming an adult, there is nothing more important than selecting the right real estate agent. After all, this person will be the one guiding you through the entire home-buying process, from choosing your dream home to negotiating the best possible price.

So how do you go about selecting the perfect real estate agent? Well here are a few tips:

Research

Take some time to research and find an agent who has experience with the area you're looking to move into and also has some good reviews online. It's best to get a sense of who they are before talking to them directly so you can make sure they're the right fit for your needs.

Interviews

Don't be afraid to interview multiple agents! Find out what their strategies are for getting you in a house quickly and how they plan on handling any bumps in the road. It's also important to ask questions about their fees, experience and if they are familiar with any first-time homebuyer programs that may be available in your area.

References

Check with friends or family members who have recently purchased a house—they can provide invaluable insight into their own experiences and help point you in the direction of an experienced real estate agent that knows what they're doing.

Selecting the right real estate agent is key when it comes time for buying a house in your 20s—so take your time with this decision, ask plenty of questions and find someone who can guide you through this new chapter of life like a pro.

Conclusion

All in all, buying a home in your twenties is a big step, and not one to take lightly. It’s an investment that requires considerable research, due diligence, and hard work. But, with the right plan, you can make it work. You don’t need a ton of money to get started—it’s about knowing what you can afford and how to make it work for you.

Start by setting a budget, doing your research, and getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Before you take the leap, be sure you understand what you’re getting into. With the right preparation, however, you can make adulting a success!