Are You Ready For Home Ownership?
A home is likely the biggest investment you'll ever make, as well as one of the most fulfilling, but despite that it can often be both tiring and strenuous. There are numerous financial and mental responsibilities that come with buying and owning a home.
For all the freedoms that come with owning your own home, such as the power to have any pets you want, paint the walls, remodel, and more, there are just as many extra responsibilities that come with them. Mortgage payments, taxes, home maintenance - and the list goes on. Preparing to own a home (as well as the baggage that comes with this) starts with you taking critical stock of your finances and expectations.
Questions for Prospective Homeowners
Are you ready to buy?
But despite your newfound ability to change whatever you want about your home, owning is much more than freedom of decoration and design. It's about maintaining your home over many years, understanding that part of your income and time will go towards updates, repairs, and renovations, and it's about being willing to take the necessary risks while holding on to a realistic expectation of the possible rewards.
How much can you afford?
Knowing what you can afford is very important, because it sets the tone for the entire home-buying process. If you overestimate how far your finances will get you, disappointment could be right around the corner. When in doubt, it's perfectly wise to live below your means, and spend modestly, while saving up for that dream home later down the road.
What is your debt-to-income ratio?
It's important to identify this, because it's something that lenders take very seriously. In general, your overall debt should never exceed 40% of your income and your housing debt shouldn't be more than roughly 32%. How much that 32% will get you, of course, depends on the location of your ideal home. In more rural areas, that will likely net you a very comfortable residence. However, in a urban, cityscape locale, you likely will struggle to find even a 500 square foot studio apartment.
What do you want?
How do you feel about chores out in your lawn? Mowing, edging, or cleaning out your gutters? Would you rather simply pay a monthly fee to have that done for you, and get that time back to yourself? Do you prefer being able to put out your trash anytime, or are you more inclined to live somewhere that offers rigid guidelines for that sort of thing? Your answers to these kinds of questions will give you a really good idea of what kind of home and community you want to live in.
We Can Help
You need a great agent who will work hard for you. Our real estate team is dedicated to finding you the right home, at the best price. We want you to own your dream home, the one that will make you happy and successful.
When you hire us to help you buy your new 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. Be focused on what you want and need in a home, because it's easy to be thrown off track by the excitement of your impending homeownership. Make a list of definite things that you need, as well as possible things you want that can be worked through if your finances allow. Make a list of pros and cons, then go over it with your real estate agent - he or she will be able to give you an unbiased opinion on the property and offer insight that wouldn't otherwise be available.
Engage the services of a good real estate lawyer. With our extensive knowledge of the surrounding areas, we can recommend several lawyers who might be a good fit for you. Conduct interviews to ensure that you get someone you can work with, because the legalities of transferring land ownership can be dodgy, and a seasoned lawyer can be your best defense against future legal troubles. A good lawyer may charge a significant price, but when it's compared to the cost of dealing with all the worst-case scenario legal issues, the money is completely worth it - you'll be paying for comfort and peach of mind.
Make the offer. Making the offer is a thrilling part of the home hunt - you're just a few short steps (and a touch of luck) away from being a new homeowner. Plus, we'll be happy to remove any other stress from your mind and prepare all that paperwork for you before submiting it.
Keep in mind, however, that the seller very may well counter or reject your offer, so it's best to not get your hope too high. You'll also likely have to write out a deposit check to the seller's broker to prove that your offer is a serious one.
Get all necessary inspections done. When you're making an investment this big, you don't want to skimp out on any of the inspections - these can end up saving you a lot of time and money down the road. Professional home inspectors will look for harmful materials like asbestor, mold, and lead paint, as well as look for any evidence of pests, poor wiring, and leaks.
This is a very important part of the homebuying process, because it is designed to give you reassurance that you are spending your money on something that is up to par in every aspect. If you forego an inspection, you could face a crippling issue later on that will be coming straight out of your pocket to fix. Inspections themselves can cost several hundred dollars, but you're simply paying to avoid a multi-thousand dollar issue sometime down the road.
Do a final walkthrough before closing the deal. We will be happy to do this with you to make sure that everything that has been 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 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!
Contact us for more information about first time home purchasing.