Purchasing a home is a complicated transaction. It can be simultaneously exciting, overwhelming, and confusing at times. For many Americans, buying a home is the single largest purchase they will ever make. An important purchase such as this should be handled with care and consideration. Professional representation a must. The following is a general Buyer's Guide geared more towards first-time buyer situations than towards the investor type. We plan on future blogs aimed at investors, but this series will deal mainly with the various owner-occupied situations. These 5 natural phases can help you navigate through the process making it easier to find the home that is perfect for you!
Phase #1: Are YOU Ready???
Owning a home is still the American Dream, however the recent housing meltdown taught us that not everyone may be ready to pursue that dream just yet. While affordability is a very important consideration, there are other important questions to ask yourself. Think about your lifestyle. Are you the home-buying type? Maybe your great job keeps you rooted in one area. Or perhaps you’re the type that moves to a new city every other year. A general rule for buying a home these days is that you should plan to live there for an extended period of time. If the idea of owning a home for more than 5 years sounds like punishment, (“5 Years ?!”) than perhaps renting would be a better fit for you. Selling within five years may prove to be a disappointment...depending on where you love of course!
How do you view where you live?Do you like to have a space that is all yours, for better or for worse? Maybe you relish the fact that a phone call to the landlord is all that is needed to fix a leaky faucet. Owning a home can be very rewarding, but it does require maintenance and responsibility. Some prefer renting because it relieves them of the everyday details of owning a home. Others, however, can't stand paying their landlord's mortgage and would rather have the freedom to make changes to the home or property without having to ask permission.
Consider your current stage in life. Do you still have that urge to travel the world? Perhaps you’ve got a great job that you want to nurture into a career. For some, planting their roots is important. On the flip side, some like the convenience of mobility. Maybe you are close to starting a family? Or is having a family the furthest thing from your mind? Whichever the case, remember that a home can anchor you to one particular area, or a potential school system for your children, so consider if you’re ready for that.
Finally, consider the true cost of home ownership. Unless you plan to pay cash, you’ll most likely need financing of some kind. Are you prepared to commit to a long-term monthly payment? Mortgages are typically taken for either 15 or 30 years. Is your current career stable? Maybe your work is seasonal or has you traveling the country alot. Try and objectively view your future and see if a monthly payment spread out over many years is a realistic and desirable arrangement for you. Either way, most will have to pay something to have a roof over their head...
The way I see it, if you are qualified and can afford to buy, and you think you can sustain for the long haul, then now may be the buying opportunity of a lifetime for you!
Stay tuned for the next phase of buying a home. In the meantime, explore the #1 Ulster County real estate site, and see why Taft Street Realty is a cut above the rest! Check out Phase 2 - The Learning / Research Phase !!