While buying a home is an exciting, life-changing event it usually comes with the inevitable dread of financing. Much like buying a car, this is the unpleasant aspect of buying a major purpose. Here's some tips to be better prepared and take the sting out of it.
Know your down payment: Be sure you're working with a real number that is available to you now, not months or weeks from now. The average minimum down payment is 20% of the home purchase price but, don't panic if you don't have that much. Many programs are available to do so with much less.
Know your monthly payment: Again, deal with reality based on your finances now, not when you anticipate getting that raise next year or after your car is paid off. If additional money comes to you, use that to make an extra mortgage payment which is a tremendous benefit and can shave off years and interest on an average loan. Being realistic in knowing what you can afford will save tons of time and heartache looking at homes you love but cannot afford.
Do mortgage homework: Knowledge is power. Learn all you can about the types of mortgages available so you can make a wise decision based on facts and your own personal perspective; not someone just telling you how great their product is.
Think short vs. long-term: Is this your forever home or a starter home? Establish your purpose and this will guide you in understanding and deciding on what will save you money now versus what will save you money over the life of a loan.
Know your neighborhood: Again, knowledge is power and knowing prior sales stats (and the stability) of your neighborhood is going to give you an edge when making such huge financial decisions.
Leave your heart at home: Finding a home is an emotional process. We actually do "fall in love" with a home. Try and keep emotions out of it though; especially when considering the costs involved in fixing up a home that needs work but, you've fallen in love with its potential.
Get pre-approved: This is crucial! This allows you a level of comfort and security when shopping for homes within your actual budget. Nothing more disappointing than seeing homes and finding out later they're beyond your means.
Don't go solo: Hire a real estate professional you trust and let them do the work for you. The real estate industry is continually changing, the laws are complex and there are many facets that require professional knowledge.
Have questions? Call me, I will be happy to assist you through the process of buying your dream home. 305.924.2610