Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

The Home Buying Process - Are You Ready?

Five tips to consider when buying a home

Buying a home is a substantial financial responsibility that can be daunting – particularly if you're a first-time buyer. That said, there is no reason you can't have some fun while putting all the pieces in place! We have the tips you need to get started! Use these five suggestions to learn and gain insight into home-buying, especially if you are a first-time home buyer.

Make Sure You Are Emotionally Prepared

Eager, anxious, stressed, and even a little melancholy? These encompass your usual emotions when buying a home, even if you've created a well-crafted plan to leap toward homeownership. Of course, all of these feelings are entirely expected. However, following a process and staying organized can help you manage and tackle the process and may also assist in making intelligent home-buying decisions. You'll want to consider your other goals for the next few years. For example, are you buying with a partner, and if yes, are you on the same page regarding money? Would you need to relocate for work? Are you thinking of starting a family? These provoking life questions can add to the pros (or cons) of whether this is the right time to buy a house.

Define How Much Home You Can Afford

The best way to commence your home-buying process is by figuring out your budget. However, this process can be complex enough without falling in love with homes that surpass your price range. And who wants to tour unattainable homes? By determining a pragmatic budget, you can begin your quest with a strong sense of your price range. In addition, obtaining preapproval early in the house hunt can help you calculate your actual buying budget should be and help you set realistic goals. Here are some ways to help determine how much home you can genuinely afford:

  • First, determine your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), which is your monthly expenditures versus your monthly income. The DTI incorporates your household bills, divided by your gross monthly income.
  • When you assess your debts, include any routine bills, such as student loans, car payments, and child support payments, which you pay monthly.
  • Your DTI should be at most 43% to secure a qualified mortgage from most lenders.
  • Avoid being house poor, which means you invested so much money in your home that you don't have remaining reserves left for other aspects of your life and livelihood. Instead, you'll want to budget for the pleasurable and practical stuff that inevitably accompanies homeownership, such as periodic maintenance and unexpected costly items like a new appliance.
  • By adding a cushion into your budget, you'll be able to relish in the joy of your new home purchase without an unexpected financial burden. This convenient home affordability calculator is a brilliant place to start!

    Save For a Down Payment

    Your mortgage payment is a crucial aspect of the process. Make a sizable down payment, which will save you a considerable sum of money over the life of your loan. Here's how:· 

    • A down payment of 20% or more will exempt you from private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI is a requirement of a down payment of less than 20%. PMI coverage costs are based on risk factors, such as your DTI and credit score. It's an expense to avoid if possible.
    • A more significant down payment will often result in a lower interest rate because a lower loan-to-value ratio (LTV) reduces the risk to your lender.
    • The more significant the initial payment against the principal, the less interest a borrower will pay over the life of the loan, potentially saving thousands of dollars. A more significant down payment ensures fewer monthly payments because the total amount you owe is less on the house.
    • Less monthly payments could thoroughly affect future borrowing capability, making you more likely to qualify for a personal or vehicle loan, credit, or other financing.

    Shop For a Real Estate Agent You Trust

    Whether buying or selling a home, locating a real estate agent you are comfortable with is one of your most crucial decisions. They can make or break your home-buying or home-selling venture; seek a seasoned expert who will do the job right.

    While you might start house-hunting on your own, whether online or by attending open houses, most home buyers find worth in working with a real estate agent or REALTOR®.

    Not only can a licensed agent help discover prospective homes, but they can supply expert knowledge of the current market. Their expertise can help advise you on the following

    • Whether an asking price is reasonable.
    • Evaluating the pros and cons of homes.
    • The value and appropriateness of a neighborhood.
    • The mortgage and preapproval strategy.
    • Negotiations and bidding methodology.
    • Paperwork and the closing process.

    A suitable agent is critical to guiding home buyers through many later steps on the home-buying checklist. In addition, they have your back, protecting your best interest – all of which help take the strain off you so you can relish in the process!

    Start Shopping For Your Perfect Home

    And here we are at the best part - shopping for YOUR perfect home; it's wise to ask your real estate agent to weigh in. They present advice on subjects you might have yet to consider, such as whether the home is in the right school district for you, if the location offers a reasonable commute time, and if it's been on the market for a while.

    You can also do some initial legwork by reviewing homes online to better understand your tastes and needs. Once you've visited a wide assortment of homes, your real estate agent can help you narrow your search by using results from a multiple listing service (MLS), where listings tend to be more timely and precise. As with any decision-making process, information is power, and you are less likely to make mistakes. So, use every tool obtainable to pursue houses in your price range effectively.

    We would love to work with you as you begin the navigation process toward your perfect home; give us a call to get started!