When you begin searching for the perfect home it can be really exciting, but also a little scary - especially if you’re first time buyers. Deciding the style of home to the kind of appliances, there are so many factors that can go into this type of a purchase. Here is a little checklist that outlines some important things to consider when you're in the market for that new home.
1. Defining That Budget
You don't want to get too excited about a house that you can't afford. It's a good idea to take time to think about your finances before you begin your home search. Start by checking out your credit score and monitoring your debt. Meeting with a mortgage lender or a loan officer can help you get a picture of your financial state and the type of loan you qualify for.
One of the ways that creditors establish your qualifications for a mortgage loan is your debt-to-income ratio. The debt-to-income ratio is determined by taking monthly debt then dividing it by your gross monthly income. You should keep that ratio at 43% or lower. Borrowers with a higher debt-to-income ratio are more likely to have problems making their monthly payments.
Also, think about the down payment. A big factor in getting the best mortgage rate will rely on how much cash you are able to put down on the home. A rule of thumb is to put 20% down if you can. Anything below 20% rule require mortgage insurance and end up costing you more on the loan long term. Everyone has a different set of circumstances, so determining the right path for you will require you to analyze your own situation.
2. Create Your Must Have vs. Wish List
Start searching for homes that meet your "must-have" list. Your must-have list is what you absolutely need in your new home, and will help narrow down your search. Focus the list on high-level, aspects of a home. Minor changes such as painting and smaller remodeling projects can be worked out later on. Narrowing down your search to homes that don't require major changes will help ensure you choose a home that is within your budget.
Think about what type of home you want –Single Family or Townhome/Condo? How many beds and baths? What's the minimum lot size you need, and do you require a garage?
Keep your list short and try to keep your must-haves focusing on major requirements; rank them by importance. Prioritizing your list will help when it comes to decision-making time. Your list should provide you with an easy way to determine what aspects you can compromise on or not. If you need help putting your list together - feel free to contact me.
3. Location, Location, Location!
The location of your new home serves multiple purposes. It impacts your daily life as well as the value of the home. When searching for locations in terms of the resell values, look at many things: schools, crime stats, and the neighborhood & community. A little research can go a long way. My website offers Market Insider, a platform that gives great details on all these factors. Besides looking at the current real estate market and trends, take the information and think about the value of the area might be in 5 or 10 years when you potentially could resell your home.
Remember that I am here to help you with all of your real estate needs - everything from the showing of a home to all of the paperwork. I can guide you through the process and assist in your home buying decisions.