#1 The first step in buying a home is determining how much you can pay for a home. Income, credit history, cash on hand for a down-payment and for closing costs, your debt (bills owed out each month) will pretty much determine your affordability for a home. Contacting your local realtor would be the best bet to start. By contacting a realtor you can get all the information regarding financing upfront. Realtors are in tune with the mortgage market and work with qualified financing specialists. Keeping the lines of communication open between you, your realtor and mortgage person is the best way to start looking for a home. You do not want to look at properties out of your price range. Determining your monthly payment for affordability is the best first step in preparing for home ownership. Going a step further, getting a pre-approval from a mortgage professional is very beneficial so that when you find the right property you are one step closer to owning the home.
#2 Next, location – this is very important; determine where you want to live. For example, a town you would like to live in, a county, perhaps, or proximity to train, ferries, public transportation. You should be thinking about features you want in a home. Create a wish list to help you identify all the things that you absolutely must have, as well as those that would be nice to have but you could live without.
#3 Next, locate a real estate agent who is caring and wants to help you find the best property that would fit your needs. Choose someone who is knowledgeable about the area and has a lot of patience. Believe it or not, but you must be compatible with your real estate agent. If you are not comfortable with someone, it will be difficult to rely on their input, feedback, recommendations, etc. when the time comes to make a decision on purchasing that property to call your own. Finding the right agent and sticking with that agent will benefit you the most.
Buying a home is both challenging and rewarding – the benefits of homeownership outweigh the challenges. Please contact me for a personal consultation if you are considering buying a home. The best way to contact me is by email to Diane@DianeKaplan.com.