Are you ready to buy a home? Buying a home is such an exciting time however, home-ownership means alot more than just a white picket fence, a neighborhood and a roof. It is personal, emotional and something that most people dream of. Most of us were raised to believe that we would one day own a house, create lasting memories, and leave a legacy for our family. Buying a home is part of the American dream
All of my buyers and "potential buyers" study the market, search for homes diligently, and keep on top of what homes are selling for in the areas they are interested in. But, before you really get serious, there are many questions that one should ask themselves.
The National Association of Realtors says that existing home sales topped an almost 4 year high in July 2013. So what do you need to ask yourself before you enter the market? What is the right moment to get in?
1) Understand the difference between what you want in a home and what you NEED. Just because you want five bedrooms, does not mean that you need them.
2) Identify the neighborhoods that you will want to live. Write down what you would like your potential neighborhood to have and compare that with actual neighborhoods you can afford and may want to live in.
3) Figure out how much you can comfortably spend. Not only will you want to make sure your housing payment will be affordable, but you want to take into consideration whatever expenses you may already have.
4) Pull a copy of your credit history and your credit score. This is very important to know where you stand prior to shopping for a loan.
5) Gather together the paperwork that will be needed to apply for a home loan prior to doing so. It will make your life easier. You will need copies of your W2, bank account and retirement accounts, and tax information. (all of your assets)
6) Find an amazing real estate agent that will do their absolute best for you. A knowledgeable professional will be very valuable.
7) Apply for your loan so you know what your price range is.
8) Work with your agent. Identify what available homes are in your choice neighborhoods and go look at them.
9) Make a SMART offer. Look at how much other homes in that area have sold for. Make your initial offer what you would feel comfortable paying for the house. You want to go in at your top price because you may not get the opportunity to counter.
10) Say calm until closing. There may be some unexpected hiccups along the way but trust in your Realtor to help handle things as smoothly as possible.
The purchase of a single family home is not necessarily an investment, but something that you should consider staying in for at least 5 years. To think of a primary residence as a way of building wealth is not a correct idea. Appreciation may or may not happen, that is why you want to make sure that the home is a place you would want to stay for a while. You want to make sure that the monthly payments will fit into your budget.
You also want to take into consideration what the annual maintenance is going to be. Make sure you have at least 3% of the homes purchase price in savings for any unexpected repairs that may or may not come up.
Try not to let yourself get overly concerned with interest rates, they are still historically low. You will look at the entire loan program before signing. You do want to make sure that the payments will not skyrocket in a few years because that could get you into trouble.
All in all, buying a home whether it is your first home or your fifth home is an exciting time and the process should be fun. When the keys are handed over to you, you should be filled with joy and excitement. As long as you have a supportive professional team behind you, you will be well taken care of.