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 areas, 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 decorating any way you like; it's about understanding that a portion of your income will be applied to repairs and regular home maintenance. It's necessary to have a realistic expectation of the risks and rewards that come with home ownership.
How much can you afford?
It can be discouraging to find that your salary cannot pay for the home you want to own. However, rather than sacrificing a large part of your income just to cover your mortgage and home expenses, it's wise to buy a more modest home now and work towards purchasing your "dream home" in a few years.
What is your debt-to-income ratio?
This is something that lenders take very seriously. Your overall debt should not be more than 40% of your income, and your housing debt should not be more than 32%. What 32% of your income will buy depends on where you want to live. In rural or downtrodden areas for example, it can buy a very comfortable residence and ample acreage. In highly sought-after urban areas however, it may not even buy a 400 square foot bachelor suite.
What do you want?
There are many things to think about when deciding on the right property. Do you want maintenance-free where you never have to worry about lawn care? Or do you want control over what your yard looks like? Do you want a neighborhood where there are HOA rules and everything is always "just so." Do you want a community with amenities like tennis, pickle ball, or golf? Do you want someplace with lots of children that is close to the schools? Knowing these things in advance can help narrow down your home search and save you time when looking for the right home.
We Can Help
You need an experienced agent who will work hard for you. Our real estate team is dedicated to helping you find the right home, at the best price. We want to assist you in finding the property that will make you happy and successful in home ownership.
When you hire us to help you buy your first home, we will find out what you want, need, and how much you can afford. Then we'll show you your options of properties and help you narrow down which one suits you and your family best.
Keep your objectives in mind when visiting a home. It's important to have two separate lists - a list of things you want in a home and a list of things you need in a home. Then, judge each home by the list and don't get distracted by details that may set you off-track from your goal. Together with your agent, you can review the pros and cons of each home. We'll help you stay on task and continue to find you properties that match your criteria.
Make the offer. When you decide on the right home, you will want to make an offer. We will prepare the paperwork and review it with you before submitting it to the seller. The seller may reject or counter your offer; we will negotiate for you to get your first choice in homes for the best price possible. We always encourage buyers to have a second choice, so if choice number one does not work out, you can move on to the next. When an offer is accepted, you will have to write a check for an earnest money deposit to show the sellers you are serious.
Get all necessary inspections done. A home inspection is crucial to ensure the home you are paying good money for will be free of harmful materials like asbestos, lead paint, and mold. Home inspectors will also check for evidence of pests, faulty wiring, and leaks. Not getting an inspection done means that you could be stuck in a home full of surprises - expensive surprises. A home inspection will cost a few hundred dollars, but it is more than worth it in the end. You can choose your own home inspector or we can recommend several in the area for you.
Do a final walkthrough before closing the deal. We will attend the final walk-through with you to ensure that everything agreed upon is completed prior to the final signing.
From the first interview that determines your requirements to the moment that you receive the keys, we will 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!
Contact us for more information about first time home purchasing.