Thinking of buying a home? Not sure if you are completely ready or how much home you can afford? A home is one of the largest investments a person will make in their lifetime. It's normal to have some jitters and some questions. There are a lot of things to consider when deciding to take this step.
#1-Keep a lid on spending. The 3-6 months before purchasing a home and applying for a mortgage is a crucial time. It's best not make any large ticket purchases such as a car, recreational vehicle or open new credit cards or lines of credit. Lenders use your debt to credit ratio when determining qualification as well as other factors so it's best to not amass additional debt .
# 2-Get that Pre-Approval. Know the difference between a pre-qualification and a pre-approval. A pre-qualification is simply just that. Anyone can get pre-qualified. What you want to do is get pre-approved. A pre-approval means that a lender has looked at your finances and has pre-approved you for a mortgage and determined what you can afford and how much they will lend you. A pre-approval is a great tool for you to have to help you shop for a mortgage. Be aware of fees, points and any additional costs when choosing a mortgage that's right for you. A pre-approval will also save you some time and energy once you have found the home you are looking for.
#3-Know Your Limits. Home ownership definitely has its perks when compared to renting a property. However, make sure you factor in the other costs associated with property ownership including property taxes, repairs and home maintenance. These costs can start to add up and it is essential that you know your budget limit to make sure you can cover these expenses.
#4-Keep Your Emotions in Check. Buying a home invokes emotion. However, it's important to keep emotions in check and not fall in love with a property for the wrong reasons. Make sure that the location works for your family. Realize the importance of the investment and remain calm and wise when it comes to making the investment. Remember paint colors and cabinetry and décor can all be changed or added to any home.
#5-How do I know what to offer? Making an offer on a home can be challenging. The amount you offer a seller should be based on a couple of factors. The first thing to consider is what you can afford. Is the home affordable for you? The next thing to consider is what the property is worth. Your opening bid should be fair and reasonable and not offend the seller. Often times, people believe that they should go low when they make an offer to avoid overpaying. That's not always the case. It's important to look at what other properties in the area have sold for to see what the market is doing. A great way to achieve this is by using a trusted real estate agent to assist you with this.
#6-Inspect It! After a deal has been made an important step as a buyer that you should take in the purchase process is to get the property inspected. A home inspection is a cost that the buyer pays for out of pocket. Average cost $300-$600. A home inspector will look at the home and note any issues that will need to be repaired as well as the condition of the home. Spending the money up front on a home inspection can save you a lot down the road.
#7-Know Your Boundaries. When purchasing a property, make sure you know the property boundaries. A survey can assist you with determining this. Knowing the boundaries of the property can help prevent any disputes with neighbors and will also help you with planning the use of the property. If you plan on adding anything in the future such as a garage or shed knowing the property boundaries is the first step