If you are thinking about purchasing a home, then this article is for you. The first thing you’ll need to determine is, “What are your long-term goals?” How will home ownership fit in with those goals?
- What type of home fits your lifestyle?
Have you thought about HOW your home would work with your current lifestyle? This is a very important, if not THE most important question to ask yourself. Let me give you a point driven scenario below.
You discover a nice little fixer-upper in the out-skirts of the major city. The price you paid was less than you had planned, which made you extremely happy. It has a huge yard, an acre or two, and more rooms and bathrooms as well. Sounds like a great deal right?
It would be if:
– It wasn’t a 30 min commute to your work
– You work 12 hours a day with 1 day off per week, and rarely spend time at home.
– You don’t own yard tools, and you don’t have the time or the extra money for a maintenance service.
In this example it’s a great deal…. for the right person with a more laid-back lifestyle. These are just a few things to consider when looking for a home that works for YOU.
- You have several options when purchasing a residential property: a traditional single-family home, a townhouse, a condo, or a multi-family building with two to four units. Each option has its pros and cons, depending on your lifestyle and goals, so you need to figure out which type of property will help you reach those goals.
- What specific features will your ideal home have? Your list should include basic desires, like neighborhood and size, all the way down to smaller details like bathroom layout and a kitchen that comes with trust-worthy appliances.
- How much mortgage do you qualify for? Before you start shopping, it’s important to get an idea of how much a lender will actually be willing to give you to purchase your first home. You may think you can afford a $300,000 home, but lenders may think you’re only good for $200,000 depending on factors like how much other debt you have, your monthly income and how long you’ve been at your current job.
- How much home can you actually afford? On the other hand, sometimes a bank will give you a loan for more house than you really want to pay for. Just like with the purchase of a new car, you’ll want to look at the house’s total cost, not just the monthly payment. Of course, looking at the monthly payment is also important, along with how much down payment you can afford, how high the property taxes are in your chosen neighborhood, how much insurance will cost, how much you anticipate spending to maintain or improve the house, and how much your closing costs will be.
- Who will help you find a home and guide you through the purchase? A real estate agent will help you locate homes that meet your needs and are in your price range, then meet with you to view those homes. Once you’ve chosen a home to buy, these professionals can assist you in negotiating the entire purchase process, including making an offer, getting a loan, and completing paperwork. A good real estate agent’s expertise can protect you from any pitfalls you might encounter during the process.