Are You Ready to Be a Homeowner?
Owning a home is the American dream. However, to ensure that your investment creates happiness rather than disappointment, it’s important that you’re both mentally and financially prepared to take on the responsibilities of homeownership. Owning a home is similar to renting but with many more duties to fulfill. Sure, you’ll have the opportunity to paint the walls any color you see fit. You’ll also have the option to own pets and make upgrades as needed. While homeownership comes with many freedoms, there are also many responsibilities to take into account. Most homeowners must pay for additional costs outside of utilities, such as home maintenance, taxes, and a mortgage. To ensure that you’re ready for such a grand commitment, take a close look at your finances and adjust your expectations as a home buyer.
Questions to Ask as a Prospective Homeowner
Are you prepared to buy?
Homeownership comes with a plethora of responsibilities that stretch far beyond painting and decorating. As a homeowner, you will need to maintain your home on your own year after year. You will be in charge of all repairs and home maintenance. While owning a home comes with many rewards, you must have the proper mindset to become a financially-savvy homeowner.
How much can you afford?
Many prospective homeowners may find themselves discouraged when house hunting when they’re not able to afford their ‘dream home’ right away. It’s important to be modest in your initial home buying endeavors so that you can purchase the house of your dreams in the future. To ensure that your new home is a blessing and not a burden, ensure that you’re not sacrificing too much of your income to pay the mortgage.
What is your debt-to-income ratio?
Before you even start looking at houses, determine your debt-to-income ratio. As a general rule of thumb, your housing debt should be no more than 32 percent of your income and your overall debt no more than 40 percent. What you’re able to purchase with that amount of money will depend on where you live. In rural areas, you may be able to snatch up a cozy home on a decent amount of acreage. If you prefer more popular urban areas, you likely won’t get as much square footage for your money.
What type of property do you want?
There are several types of properties that offer different amenities and perks. Choose one that will fit your lifestyle and personal needs. For example, if you dread the thought of cleaning your own gutters or performing your own lawn care, you may want a property located within a gated community that offers these services. Depending on where you live, you may also need to follow rules pertaining to garbage pick up, shared driveways, and similar scenarios.
Our Real Estate Team Can Help
Work Alongside an Agent
Work alongside an agent who will find you the right home at the best price. Our dedicated real estate team is ready to assist you with all your home buying needs to ensure that you’re fully satisfied with your purchase of a new home. When deciding on a home, we take into account a variety of factors such as how much you can afford and what aspects you’re looking for in a home. We’ll work with you step by step to find a new home that meets your needs and budget.
Keep a Checklist of Wants and Needs
Keep a checklist of wants and needs in the back of your mind. The house hunting process can be overwhelming and you may forget some of your most important wants and needs. Keep a running checklist in the back of your mind or write them down on paper so you don’t forget. When visiting homes, discuss with your agent the pros and cons of each home so that you can better determine which home is best for your family.
Consult With a Real Estate Lawyer
Consult with a real estate lawyer to avoid legal troubles. While real estate often transfers without a hitch, there are always risks when it comes to purchasing land and property. To avoid the stress and financial strain of unexpected legal fees, consult with a real estate lawyer. We can recommend several real estate lawyers in the area who have extensive experience working with new and prospective home buyers. While the cost of hiring a lawyer can be high initially, you’ll likely be saving more money in the long haul by avoiding legal pitfalls and dodgy sellers.
Make an Offer
Make an offer on a house. Once you find a home that you would like to purchase, it’s time to make an offer. We’ll be happy to help you prepare all paperwork involved in the offer phase of the home buying process before submitting. The seller may then approve, reject, or counter your offer. While it’s good to be optimistic, there is a chance that the seller will reject so don’t get your hopes up on a certain house. To show the seller that you’re serious about buying, you may also need to write a deposit check to the seller’s broker when making an offer.
Hire a Home Inspector
Hire a home inspector to perform all necessary inspections. Before closing on a home, it’s essential to hire a home inspector to check the property for problems such as pipe leaks or faulty wiring. The inspector may also look for signs of dangerous materials such as lead paint, asbestos, or mold growth. Failure to undergo an inspection could leave you with hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs that you’re forced to deal with on your own. There are several home inspectors in the area that we can recommend.
Perform a Final Walk-through
Perform a final walk-through before closing on the home. You’ve searched and searched for the right house, made an offer, completed the paperwork, and received the keys. Now it’s time to perform the final walkthrough. Make the visit alone or we’d be happy to go with you. You’re now the proud owner of a home. To learn more about the home buying process and what we can do to streamline the process, contact us today.