Are You Ready For Home Ownership?
Owning a home may be your dream, but in order for the purchase to be the happy and satisfying experience it was meant to be, you need to ensure that you are financially and mentally prepared for the responsibilities that come with it.
Some people have a notion that home ownership is like renting, but with the power to have pets and paint the walls whatever color you like. However, while these privileges are available to homeowners in most municipalities, they come with the responsibilities of a mortgage, taxes and home maintenance. Preparing for home ownership requires you to take critical stock of your finances and your expectations.
Questions for Prospective Homeowners
Are you ready to buy?
Owning your own home is about more than just being able to decorate any way you like; it's about being prepared to maintain your home over the years, realizing that part of your income and time will go towards repairs and maintenance. It's about being willing to take the risks of home ownership with a realistic expectation of the rewards.
How much can you afford?
It can be discouraging to find that your salary won't stretch as far as the home you want to own. However, sacrificing a huge part of your income just to pay the mortgage can very quickly make home ownership a burden rather than a point of pride. Speaking with a trusted lender before you begin you search, will give you all of the information you need about affordability. They can work with you and give you options and estimated house payments for different priced homes. Then, once you are pre-approved, they can tell you exactly how much they will lend to you, but more importantly, how much you are willing to spend, based on what the lender shared in their examples. If you need a list of trusted lenders, just let me know!
What is your debt-to-income ratio?
This is something that lenders take very seriously. Your overall debt should not be more than certain percentage of your income, and your housing debt should not be more than a certain percentage. When you go through the pre-approval process, your lender will calculate all of that based on the documents you provide them and can advise you if you are good to go, or if you need to pay down some debt to get a loan.
What do you want?
How many bedrooms do you need? How many bathrooms do you need? Do you want a big yard, or something smaller to keep the mowing time to a minimum? Do you want to have a lake view, or a pool? Getting the criteria nailed down early on will be helpful. When you get with your Realtor, you will have a set criteria that they can focus on when they setup a search for you. Then, if things change based on lack of options, that can be discussed, and corrections made to open up more options.
We Can Help
You need a good agent who will work hard for you. We are dedicated to helping you find the right home, at the best price. We want you to find the home that will make you happy and successful in real estate ownership.
When you allow us to help you buy your first home, we want to know what you want and how much you can afford. Then we'll find a way to merge these two priorities and find a residence that you'll enjoy owning.
Keep your objectives in mind when visiting a home. Sometimes the idea of owning a home can overwhelm your practical sense, so keep your feelings in check. Keep a list handy of the features that you need and want in a home, and judge each home by the list instead of by details that could distract you from your goal. When you're alone with your agent, you can go over the pros and cons of each home. We can help you stay on track while still keeping our eyes out for a great property.
Make the offer. This can be a maze of "buyer", "seller", "deposit", and "completion". We'll be happy to prepare the paperwork and go through it with you before submitting it.
Get all necessary inspections done. A home inspector will check for signs of harmful materials like asbestos, lead paint and mold. They'll also check for evidence of pests, faulty wiring and leaks. This is a crucial part of the home purchase. Inspections will cost a few hundred dollars, but again, this is more than worth it in the end. There are several inspectors in the area that we'd be happy to recommend.
Do a final walkthrough before closing the deal. We'd be happy to do this with you to make sure that everything agreed upon is completed prior to the final signing.
From the first communication that determines your requirements to the moment that you receive the keys, we can help you with the complicated process of buying a home. Don't hesitate to contact us to find out more about how we can make the home buying process easier. It doesn't cost you anything to have our help. We get paid by the agent that represents the sellers, so you never have to worry about that!
Contact us for more information about first time home purchasing.