Are You Ready For Home Ownership
Owning a home is a big financial and emotional responsibility. While it may seem somewhat of a whimsical idea at first, there are many things buyers need to be aware of before pulling the trigger. The chances of long-term happiness and satisfaction are highest when buyers go into the transaction fully prepared and informed.
While homeownership offers freedoms such as the ability to have pets and to paint the walls whatever color you like, factors like the mortgage, taxes, and home maintenance also need to be considered. It’s important to have good grasp of your finances and what you can realistically expect and afford.
Questions for Prospective Homeowners
Is buying now the right time?
One of the main responsibilities that come with ownership over time is maintaining the home. Be prepared to set aside some money for repairs and maintenance. While home buying can be a joyous and exciting process, buyers must also accept the risks that come with it. This can include broken appliances to an air conditioner needing replacement to lawn maintenance.
What's your realistic price range?
It can be discouraging when you find your dream home, only to discover that it’s beyond your budget. Though it can be tempting, sacrificing a large portion of your income to pay a high mortgage can add much unneeded stress. Experts agree it’s much more in your favor to buy a modest home now, while still keeping in mind your dream home for a future purchase.
What is your debt-to-income ratio?
Lenders take your debt-to-income ratio with the utmost seriousness. Your total debt should not equal more than 40% of your income, and your housing debt should not equal more than 32%. The cost of your home will determine what that 32% is and that will, in turn, be decided by the home’s location, proximity to amenities, and level of schools. The same 2000 square foot home could be much more expensive in an urban area than in a more rural setting.
What are you looking for?
Take a moment and think about what you want out of home ownership, on a personal level. Does an HOA appeal to you, where you are governed by certain rules and regulations? Or do you prefer things more lax? Do you prefer to handle your own lawn care or would you rather pay a lawn company to do it for you? If you have a pool, can you maintain it yourself? Many of these important questions can help you narrow down your home search tremendously.
We Can Help
Knowing what you want and what you can afford is the first step in finding the best home at the best price. Consequently, the key to a successful home buying experience is working with a qualified agent who knows the process and market inside and out. We will help you find your dream home by listening to your concerns and questions, all the while being available to you 24/7
Keep your goals in mind. When you visit a home for the first time, be sure to bring a list of everything you need and want. Sometimes it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the mere idea of home ownership or become emotionally attached to a home that might not fit your practical needs. Since you don’t want to make a rash decision that you may end up second-guessing later, it’s a solid idea to keep a list of your basic wants and needs throughout the home search. After visiting each home, make a list of pros and cons and go over them with your agent. We’ll help you keep your eyes on the goals at hand, while also keeping a lookout for the next great property that matches your needs.
Use a good real estate lawyer. When purchasing land, a good real estate lawyer can help smooth the process and take care of some of the legalities involved in transferring ownership. Though a stellar lawyer may charge over a thousand dollars, it could be worth it for the money saved in potential legal fees down the road. We can recommend several excellent lawyers with whom to interview
Make the offer. Making the offer is sometimes the most exciting and nerve-racking part of the home buying process. We will go over and prepare all the necessary paperwork with you before an official submission. It’s best not to put all your hopes into a home because a seller won’t always accept your offer. Many times, there will be a counter-offer, or even a flat out rejection. A deposit check may be required to seller’s broker in order to ensure that your offer is serious.
Inspections are necessary. A home inspector is needed to check for harmful presences like asbestos, lead paint, and mold, as well as pests, faulty wiring, and any leaks. This part of the home buying process is essential because if these things aren’t accessed and taken care of, it could cause many costly problems for you down the road. Inspections are usually a few hundred dollars, but they are well worth it in the end
A walkthrough is essential before closing the deal on your new home. Many times during the negotiation process, the seller will agree to perform maintenance on the home before closing day. A walkthrough allows you to check to make sure everything was done as according to the agreed-upon contract.
We can help you every step of the way to buying your new home as stress-free as possible! Please contact us and we’d love to get you started.