What are 3 things to consider before buying a home?

Before you buy a home, there are a number of things you should know. Buying a home is a long-term goal for many people, and when you make that purchase, you want to know that it's the right one for your situation.

If you're ready to buy a home, remember to keep these tips in mind:

Remember that you're signing a contract

Contracts vary, but once you sign, you're bound by what's in your contract barring any unusual circumstances. Before you sign any contract, remember that you can negotiate and should negotiate. You want to get the best deal possible, and you can't alter the agreement once you agree to the terms of your mortgage or purchase.

Buy a home that suits your future

If you think you can "get away" with owning a two-bed, two-bath home but know you'll need to upgrade in the future, skip the short-term goal and look straight ahead. It's better to look for the home that will suit you and to size up than to buy a home that ends up not working for you in a year or two. Why is that so important? If you buy too small, you'll likely have to wait between five and seven years before you've paid any equity, which means you'll have little toward another home purchase.

Only buy what you can afford

The bottom line is this: If you can't afford the home today, what makes you think you can afford it tomorrow? If you can afford it today, can you see yourself still making similar payments in a year or two? What about in five? Consider your life, goals, job and other circumstances before you buy, and stick to your budget. If there's an option between a home that suits your budget and one that strains you, it's almost always a better choice to go with the budget option.

These are just a few tips to consider. Making good choices now can help you in the long term.

Source: Forbes, "10 Things You Absolutely Need To Know About Buying A Home," Kelly Philips Erb, accessed Nov. 16, 2017