Sunday, November 22, 2020 / by Byron Brenes
Make sure you are ready to take this huge financial step, which will likely be one of the most significant investments of your lifetime. Take the time to closely examine your credit report. A weak report or poor credit score can prevent you from qualifying for a low mortgage rate.
Having enough money to make a down payment and pay closing costs is great, but you also have to factor in the costs you’ll be incurring after you move in. Have you calculated the property taxes, insurance and utility bills you’ll be paying from day one? If not, you could be in for a rude awakening. Be prepared for the unexpected and the “what ifs.” Will you be able to pay for a new roof if it begins to leak? Will you be able to foot the bill if your furnace goes out during the dead of winter? These unexpected repairs usually need to be addressed immediately.
Purchasing and living in a fantastic home is an amazing experience, but being “house poor” isn’t. Take a step back and evaluate your situation. If are going to have a hard time paying your monthly bills and covering routine maintenance on the house, you will have to cut back on things like eating out at restaurants, taking vacations, or upgrading your property.
Work with an established broker who intimately knows the area, but also understands your needs and preferences. If you’re cash-strapped, find an agent who can help you find a reasonably-priced home that is likely to appreciate in value quickly. An agent who knows where to find the hidden gems and bargains on the market is invaluable, thanks to their wealth of contacts and experience.
There are many lenders to choose from in the marketplace. Invest the time to talk with a number of them to find the right person. Also, inquire about what types of loan programs would be available to you, from adjustable-rate mortgages to 15- and 30-year fixed loans. Some lenders even offer loan products that can wipe out student loans. The choice of which loan program is right for you is primarily determined by one’s risk tolerance and the period of time one plans to own a particular piece of property. Lastly, compare the interest rates offered on the program that you prefer.
: Buying a home is often an emotional experience, but you can’t let your emotions get the best of you. You need to take time to determine whether a home is right for you in the short-term and long-term. If you are recently married, but not ready to have kids for a few years, a two-bedroom condo in a bustling urban area might be perfect for you. On the other hand, if you want to start a family immediately, you should probably focus on finding a property that allows for some room to grow.