Seven Tips for Buying a Home
You don't have to be a first time home buyer to feel a little intimidated when considering a home purchase. There are so many important factors, that it can make living with relatives or renting a room for the rest of your life almost seem attractive. The keyword is here is almost. Home ownership is not only considered part of the great American dream, but also a good investment, if you choose wisely. You can make the path to the purchase of a new home easier and feel more confident in quest with the help of these tips.
1 Get your ducks in a row.
These ducks include checking your credit score and correcting any incorrect information or updating that information to help show you in a better light. Clean up credit card debt and only use your cards for emergencies. If you're accustomed to keeping track of business expenses via a credit card, pay the balance at the end of the month. Reviewing your budget to insure there's room for home ownership is another step. Now is the time to also start envisioning the things you find important for your next home.
2 Consider all the expenses of home ownership and your present budget.
Buying a house is more than just making house payments, even if you include taxes and insurance in that payment. No matter what your budget shows you can pay for a house payment, including taxes and insurance, you need to consider other expenses that go with home ownership. If you already own a home, you're probably savvy to this concept and know that furnaces break, the roof leaks and the basement floods at the most inconvenient times. You need a cushion to help prevent a home repair from becoming a disaster.
3 Have a larger down payment.
There are many reasons that a larger down payment can save you money. First, it not only saves you money in interest throughout the history of the mortgage, but you'll also have a lower interest rate. Most lenders look more favorably at people who plunk down a larger payment. It means they have more equity in the home and are less likely to default on the loan. Even if you do default, the likelihood of recouping all the mortgage money lent is greater when you owe less. You'll also avoid PMI---private mortgage insurance---which is an extra cost added to your payment if your down payment is less than 20%. You could save thousands of dollars in premiums for insurance that protects the lender if you default.
4 Get preapproved for financing.
You'll save a lot of time and heartache if you talk to a lender before you start looking. Getting preapproved for a loan helps you narrow the price range when you shop. It also gives you time to find the best possible terms for your next mortgage. It tells the seller and realtor that you're not just sincere, you're capable of securing a loan.
5 Look for good bones.
This is one of the hardest things for many people to do. Rather than looking at the attractive landscaping and beautiful decorating, you need to get into the habit of looking at the structural integrity, overall design, roof, foundation and quality of materials used. While a stylish updated decorating theme might be attractive, if you need major repairs, it's costly. Don't worry about the cosmetics of a house if it is solid with a good floor plan.
7 Get help from experts.
Even if you're well versed in home ownership, you probably don't know everything. Termite inspections, roof inspections, septic inspections are all important before you finalize the purchase. Your realtor can help you with information about the neighborhood, contractors and even lenders.
Cliff Johnson, Solid Source Realty, (678)495-6050, www.stonemountaingeorgiahomes.com