Are You Ready For Home Ownership?
Buying your first home can be stressful, but the overall experience is incredibly gratifying. Still, you need to ensure that you are both mentally and financially prepared for the process, and with the added responsibilities that come with purchasing a new home.
There is a common sentiment that home ownership is similar to renting, but with the added freedoms of having pets and painting the walls any color you like. However, there are numerous added responsibilities that come with ownership - mortgages, taxes, home maintenance, and more. Preparing yourself for home ownership requires you to take an honest stock of your finances as well as your expectations.
Questions for Prospective Homeowners
Are you ready to buy?
There is more to owning a homethan just being able to decorate any way you like; it's really about creating a long-lasting home for many years, and understanding that a part of your income will have to go toward maintenance and repairs. It's about knowing the risks of home ownership, so you can fully appreciate the many rewards.
How much can you afford?
It can be very disappointing to find that your income wont stretch to accomodate your dream home. But, sacrificing a large part of your salary just to pay a mortgage can turn that dream home into a burden rather than a point of pride. It's much better to settle for a modest home now that you still love, and save money for a few years in order to purchase your dream home then.
What is your debt-to-income ratio?
Lenders take this very seriously - your overall debt should not exceed 40% of your income, and your housing debt shouldn't be more than 32%. What that 32% will buy depends on where you want to live. In a more rural area, that can get your a very comfortable home, but in the heart of a big city, it might not even get you a small studio apartment.
What do you want?
Do you like the idea of cleaning your own gutters? Do you shudder at the thought of lawn care? Would you rather just pay a fee every month and have everything done for you? Would obeying rules about when you can have your garbage cans out bother you, or do you want to live in a neighborhood where everything is 'just so'? The answers to these questions can help you narrow down the search for the right type of property for you.
We Can Help
You need a good agent who will work hard for you. Our real estate team is dedicated to helping you find the right home, at the best price. We want you to find the home that will make you happy and successful in real estate ownership.
When you hire us to help you buy your first home, we want to know what you want and how much you can afford. Then we'll find a way to merge these two priorities and find a residence that you'll enjoy owning.
Keep your objectives in mind when visiting a home. Sometimes the idea of owning a home can overwhelm your practical sense, so keep your feelings in check. Keep a list handy of the features that you need and want in a home, and judge each home by the list instead of by details that could distract you from your goal. When you're alone with your agent, you can go over the pros and cons of each home. We can help you stay on track while still keeping our eyes out for a great property.
Engage the services of a good real estate lawyer. We can recommend several lawyers in the area who might be a good fit for you. Interview them to ensure that you get someone you can work with. The legalities of transferring land ownership can be dodgy, and a lawyer can be your best defense against future legal troubles. A good lawyer can charge several hundred to over a thousand dollars for their services, but the thousands of dollars saved in legal fees later on makes this a good expense.
Make the offer. This can be a maze of "buyer", "seller", "chattels", "deposit", and "completion". We'll be happy to prepare the paperwork and go through it with you before submitting it. Remember, the seller may reject or counter your offer, so even at this late date, avoid setting your heart on the home you hope to own. You'll probably have to write a deposit check to the seller's broker that proves the seriousness of your offer.
Get all necessary inspections done. A home inspector will check for signs of harmful materials like asbestos, lead paint and mold. They'll also check for evidence of pests, faulty wiring and leaks. This is a crucial part of the home purchase. Not getting an inspection done means that you could be stuck in a home with a bad case of black mold and no recourse other than to pay for its removal. Inspections will cost a few hundred dollars, but again, this is more than worth it in the end. There are several inspectors in the area that we'd be happy to recommend.
Do a final walkthrough before closing the deal. We'd be happy to do this with you to make sure that everything agreed upon is completed prior to the final signing.
From the first interview that determines your requirements to the moment that you receive the keys, we can help you with the complicated process of buying a home. Don't hesitate to contact us to find out more about how we can make the home buying process easier!
Contact us for more information about first time home purchasing.