There are many things to think about before you dive into a home purchase. Buying a home is a complicated process; it’s the largest financial commitment most people will ever make, and it can get expensive even after the purchase when it comes to maintenance and renovations. Here are some of the many things that you will want to consider when you are thinking about buying a home.
- Decide how much home you can afford. Generally, you can afford a home equal in value to between two and three times your gross income.
- Develop a wish list of what you’d like your home to have. Be sure to write these down! Then prioritize the features on your list.
- Select three or four neighborhoods you’d like to live in. Consider items such as commuting times, schools, recreational facilities, area expansion plans, and safety.
- Determine if you have enough saved to cover your down payment and closing costs. Closing costs, including taxes, attorney’s fee, and transfer fees vary from area to area and not all sellers are willing to pay your costs. You should check with your mortgage lender to determine the exact amount of closing costs that will be required for the type of loan that you will be getting.
- Get your credit in order. Obtain a copy of your credit report. Check it for unpaid balances, collections accounts and fraud. You need to be able to explain these things to the lender and in some cases pay them off before you can qualify for a loan.
- Determine how large a mortgage for which you can qualify. Explore different financing loan options and decide what’s best for you.
- Organize all the documentation a lender will need to pre-approve you for a loan. Talk to your lender for details on the pre-approval process.
- Do research to determine if you qualify for any special mortgage or down payment-assistance programs. Active and former military personnel often qualify for these programs.
- Calculate the costs of home ownership, including property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and association fees, if applicable. Be sure you can afford these expenses before diving into making an offer and buying a home. This will help you avoid becoming
- Find an experienced REALTOR® who can help you through the process.
Please feel free to contact me if I can help your family with any type of real estate need.