I’ve worked with many first time homebuyers throughout my career, and taking the leap into home ownership can be a bit scary for some people. I’ve put together a short list of important considerations to help ease the stress.
Know and Define Your Budget
It’s important not to fall in love with a house that you just can't afford. Take the time to analyze your financial situation before you begin your home search. You can start by checking your credit score, monitoring your debt and thinking about an affordable down payment.
Your debt-to-income ratio is one of the ways that lenders establish how qualified you are for a mortgage loan. Taking your monthly debt and dividing it by your gross monthly income determine your debt-to-income ratio. Ideally, you should keep that ratio 43% or lower.
Remember your down payment! A big factor in getting the best interest rate relies on how much you are able to put down. Anything less than 20% will usually require mortgage insurance, and end up costing you more on the loan in the long run.
Consider Your “Must Haves”
Start your home search with homes that meet your "must-have" list – not a “wish list”. A must-have list helps you to think about exactly what you need in a new home and will help you and your Realtor narrow down the scope of your search.
If you are wondering where to start, think about what type of home you want to live in. Are you more comfortable in a Single Family or Townhome/Condo? How many bathrooms and bedrooms do you require? Take advise from your Realtor, and don’t let small things completely take a home off of your list. Some minor changes such as painting and small renovation projects can be fixed on down the road.
Where Do You Want to Live?
The location of your new home will impact your daily life and happiness along with your home's value in the future. When thinking about location in terms of resale value, you want to look at several things: school districts, the neighborhood and community. A little research can answer most of these questions, and my website offers Market Insider, a tool to give you details on all these factors.
Beside the resale value of your home, try to analyze the location of a home from the perspective of your wellbeing and happiness. Things like your daily commute, surrounding noise, and community make a big difference in your experience in the home.
Finding the right home may not necessarily mean finding a "perfect" home, but finding the right home for you to make your own. When you're ready to start your home search, don't hesitate to contact me!