Marianne Belanger's Blog
Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases that you’ll ever make in your lifetime. You’ll spend decades of your life making mortgage payments to pay off your home loan. Buying a home is more than just simply finding a place to live. It’s also a financial decision. Your home helps you to build equity, gives you tax deductions, and helps you to have some security in your financial future.
One of the biggest questions that you’ll have when you buy a home is “How much can I spend?” To answer this question, you’ll need to dig a little deeper.
Do You Have Money For A Down Payment?
The standard amount of money that you’ll need for a down payment is 20 percent of the purchase price of a home. If you don’t have the money for a full down payment, you’ll need to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). This could add up to be an extra cost of hundreds of dollars per month in additional insurance payments on top of your mortgage and every other kind of expense that goes along with buying a home. You’ll need to take the time to save up for a down payment if you’re a first time homebuyer. If you already own a home, the equity that you have in that home can help you with the down payment.
What Are Your Other Financial Responsibilities?
There’s more to buying a home than just the monthly mortgage payment. You’ll need to get insurance, pay taxes, and have some money set aside for repair and decorating costs. You’ll need to look at your monthly income to find out just how much you can afford on a home. You should take an honest look at your lifestyle and existing expenses in order to determine a comfortable monthly mortgage payment for you.
Know Your Credit Score
Your credit score will be a major factor in how much house you’ll be able to afford. Your lender will use your credit score and credit history to help determine what type of interest rate you’ll get and how much they’re willing to lend you in order to buy a home.
Understanding what you can afford for a home purchase is crucial before you even start shopping. It’s a good idea to meet with a lender to get pre-qualified. This is different than getting pre-approved. Your lender will give you a general idea of how much you can spend on a home without digging too deep into your finances. Getting pre-qualified is a great place to start when you’re looking at the numbers of being a homeowner.
If possible, it helps to maintain a flexible deadline as you navigate the homebuying journey. Because if you have a tight deadline in place, you risk making a rash homebuying decision. And as a result, you may pay too much to acquire a home. Perhaps even worse, you risk purchasing a house that fails to match your expectations.
As you prepare to kick off your homebuying quest, it helps to plan ahead. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to streamline your home search and discover your ideal residence in no time at all.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you accelerate the homebuying journey.
1. Prepare Homebuying Criteria
If you know you want to buy a home, you should put together property buying criteria. That way, you can enter the housing market with a plan in hand to acquire your dream residence.
To establish homebuying criteria, think about where you want to reside. For instance, if you want a home close to parks and other family-friendly attractions, you should hone your house search accordingly. On the other hand, if you need a house that offers quick, easy access to family members, you should search for a home near these relatives.
Consider the features you want to find in your dream home, too. If you make a list of home must-haves, you can focus exclusively on houses that have the features you require.
2. Establish a Budget
Usually, it is beneficial to begin a home search with a mortgage at your disposal. If you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you will know how much you can spend on a house. Then, you can search for houses that won't force you to exceed your budget.
To obtain a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can teach you everything you need to know about home financing. Plus, they can help you make an informed mortgage selection.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
With a real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble performing a successful home search.
A real estate agent is devoted to homebuyers' success, and as such, will do what it takes to help you achieve your desired results. For instance, if you want to buy an affordable house in a small town, a real estate agent will make it simple for you to do just that. Or, if you want to purchase a home near your office in the city, a real estate agent will craft a custom homebuying plan so you can accomplish your goal.
Furthermore, a real estate agent takes the guesswork out of buying a house. If you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent will respond to them – without exception.
Want to enjoy a fast, stress-free homebuying experience? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you may be better equipped than ever before to seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey.
A home showing will help you gain the insights you need to make an informed decision about a house purchase. At the same time, you may have many concerns about whether a residence is right for you, even after you complete a home showing.
Ultimately, there are many questions to consider after you finish a house showing to ensure you can make the right choice about a residence, and these include:
1. How did I feel as I walked through a home?
Oftentimes, homebuyers try to envision what life may be like if they purchase a residence. As these buyers walk through a house during a showing, it sometimes can be simple to imagine the possibilities if you buy this residence. On the other hand, it may be tough to envision a future in a particular home if a house fails to match or exceed your expectations.
Think about how you felt as you explored each room in a house during a showing. If you left a home showing with a good feeling about a residence, it may be beneficial to submit an offer or set up a follow-up showing. Conversely, if a home showing left you feeling uncomfortable with a residence, you may want to continue your search for your dream house.
2. Are there any major issues with a home?
Generally, it is a good idea to ask lots of questions about a house during a showing. This will enable you to learn about the condition of a home and determine whether major repairs are necessary.
A home in need of significant upgrades offers opportunities for homebuyers who are looking for a "fixer-upper" house. In fact, if you submit an offer on a fixer-upper home, you may be able to perform assorted repairs to enhance a house's condition and value.
Comparatively, if you are unwilling to perform substantial home upgrades, there is no need to worry. You can always forego submitting an offer on a house after a showing, and by doing so, continue your pursuit for your ideal home.
3. Is a home a viable long-term investment?
As a homebuyer, it is important to find a house that will serve you well both now and in the future. Because if you fail to do so, you risk purchasing a house that will only decline in value in the years to come.
If you feel that a home is a viable long-term investment following a showing, you may want to submit an offer to acquire this residence. Then, if a seller accepts your offer, you can conduct a home inspection and move forward in the homebuying process.
Lastly, as you consider what to do after a home showing, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you evaluate the pros and cons of submitting an offer on a particular residence. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will offer expert tips to ensure you can find your dream residence in no time at all.
Buying a home should be a problem-free experience. Yet issues may arise that make it tough to acquire the perfect house at an affordable price.
Common problems that come up during the homebuying journey include:
1. Lack of Home Financing
Before you search for a home, it generally is a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage. That way, you can kick off a house search with a budget in hand.
To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you should meet with banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can teach you about a variety of mortgage options and help you get approved for home financing in no time at all.
Of course, if you have questions as you pursue a mortgage, don't hesitate to ask a lender for assistance. Lenders employ courteous, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who are happy to respond to your queries without delay.
2. Temptation to Submit a Lowball Offer to Purchase
Once you find your ideal residence, you may be tempted to submit an offer to purchase at or below a house seller's initial asking price. But doing so may be problematic, particularly for a homebuyer who wants to acquire his or her dream residence as quickly as possible.
If you submit a lowball offer to purchase a house, a seller likely will reject the proposal. Worst of all, a rival homebuyer may swoop in with a competitive offer to purchase this residence – something that may cause you to miss out on the opportunity to buy your ideal home.
Ultimately, it is beneficial to submit a competitive homebuying proposal. If you allocate time and resources to learn about a home's condition and how a residence stacks up against comparable houses in the same city or town, you can craft a competitive offer to purchase. And as a result, a competitive offer to purchase may receive an instant "Yes" from a home seller, leading to a fast, successful homebuying experience.
3. Failure to Identify Problems During a Home Inspection
A home inspection is paramount because it gives you the opportunity to walk through a residence with a property expert and learn about any underlying house issues. Then, if you discover major problems with a house, you can ask a seller to complete property repairs, reduce your initial offer to purchase or walk away from a residence altogether.
Hire a home inspector who possesses comprehensive expertise – you'll be glad you did. With the right house inspector at your side, you can get the help you need to identify problems during a property inspection.
Lastly, as you get ready to search for a house, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional can provide extensive guidance throughout the property buying journey and ensure you can mitigate homebuying problems before they escalate.
Reach out to a real estate agent today, and you can receive plenty of support as you navigate the homebuying journey.
Conducting an in-depth home search may prove to be difficult, particularly for individuals with limited time and resources at their disposal. Fortunately, there are lots of things that you can do to streamline your home search and discover your ideal residence without delay.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey.
1. Create Homebuying Criteria
Not all homes are created equal, and the dream house for one buyer may differ from the dream house for another. However, if you craft homebuying criteria, you can define your dream house and map out your property search accordingly.
Think about the features you want to find in your dream residence. For instance, if you want to own a house that features a dazzling backyard, you can explore residences that offer this feature. On the other hand, if you want to purchase a home that boasts multiple bedrooms, you can search for residences that provide plenty of space.
Consider where you want to reside, too. By doing so, you can narrow your home search to residences in a select group of cities and towns.
2. Know Your Homebuying Budget
Get pre-approved for a mortgage – you'll be happy you did. If you enter the real estate market with a mortgage in hand, you'll know exactly how much you can spend to acquire your dream residence. Then, you can search for houses that fall within your price range.
Obtaining a mortgage will require you to meet with banks and credit unions. You should review mortgage options from a variety of banks and credit unions, as this will allow you to select a mortgage that complements your finances.
Don't hesitate to ask mortgage questions, either. Banks and credit unions employ home financing specialists who are ready to respond to your mortgage queries. Plus, these specialists can offer home financing insights to help you make an informed mortgage selection.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with finding a great house at an affordable price. Thankfully, he or she can make it easy for you to conduct an in-depth home search in no time at all.
Typically, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about new houses that become available in your preferred cities or town. If you want to view any of these homes, a real estate agent will set up a house showing. And if you find a home you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase this residence.
As you get set to search for your dream home, you should try to prepare as much as you can. By using the aforementioned tips, you can simplify the process of conducting a comprehensive home search. Best of all, you can use these tips to discover a wonderful home that is sure to serve you well both now and in the future.