A home is one of the biggest purchases many people will make in their lifetime. Which is why planning and preparation are critical when it comes to paving your path to home ownership.
Ask yourself the following questions and answer them honestly to determine if now is the right time for you to buy.
Can you afford to own a home?
Whether it’s a sellers market or a buyers market, knowing what and IF you can afford a home is critical. The National Association of REALTORS® notes correctly that homes and financing are closely intertwined and describes financing as the difference between the purchase price and the down payment, commonly referred to as debt or the mortgage. The best case scenario is to have some money saved for a down payment and additional money set aside for closing costs. In some cases, though, closing costs can be worked into the price of the home.
Here’s another great exercise: roughly determine how much a monthly mortgage payment you can afford. In addition to your monthly rent or current mortgage payment, take the rest of the money it would take to pay the new mortgage and put it into a savings account. Do this for six months. There are two good things for this exercise:
- You get a feel for what it would be like paying the new mortgage and
- you now have some money saved for potential closing costs or even a down payment on the house! Be sure to talk to your REALTOR® or a mortgage professional for information on loan programs that match your financial needs.
Do you know what you want?
Whether you are moving up to a larger home, are a first-time home buyer or are purchasing a second house, knowing what you want will simplify your home search process. Talk honestly and openly about details such as: square footage, floor plans, neighborhoods, nearby schools and style. Do you have a special need such as an extra bedroom suite, a large upstairs, a pool or a screen porch? Do you have a particular time frame to buy? By answering these questions honestly, you’ll have a more realistic view of what you really want in your future home.
How’s your credit?
The best way to ensure your loan is approved by the lender is to keep your credit in check. The best advice? For at least one year prior to purchasing a home make absolutely sure you pay your rent, credit card bill, car payment or any other debt in full and on time. Not sure if you’re credit score is in a good spot? Ask your REALTOR® to recommend a lender or mortgage professional who can answer all your home financing questions.
Careful planning and preparation will help you throughout the entire home buying process. Once you have these questions answered start the interview process for a real estate agent. Find the one that’s right for you, and then be on your way to making the dream of home ownership a reality!
Want more ideas for purchasing your dream home? Get in touch with me, your trusted local real estate professional. Call me @ (905)940-3599 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org, today and I can definitely help you!