Are You Ready For Home Ownership?
Owning a home may be your dream, but in order for the purchase to be the happy and satisfying experience it was meant to be, you need to ensure that you are financially and mentally prepared for the responsibilities that come with it.
Some people have a notion that home ownership is like renting, but with the power to have pets and paint the walls. However, while these privileges are available to homeowners in most municipalities, they come with the responsibilities of a mortgage, taxes and home maintenance. Preparing for home ownership requires you to take critical stock of your finances and your expectations.
Questions for Prospective Homeowners
Are you ready to buy?
It's exciting to think about owning your own home! Conversations about fun things like decorating start flowing but owning is about more than just the fun stuff. Owning a home means being willing to take the risks of home ownership with a realistic expectation of the rewards. Being prepared to maintain a home and understanding that part of your income and time will go towards repairs & maintenance is an important piece that can be easy to overlook in the beginning.
How much can you afford?
Sacrificing a huge part of your income just to pay the mortgage can very quickly make home ownership a burden rather than a point of pride. Purchasing a home is often the largest investment you'll ever make--do it in a smart way. Review your income and expenses and purchase a home that comfortably fits those guidelines. Don't forget, you can always upgrade down the road!
What is your debt-to-income ratio?
This is something that lenders take very seriously. Your overall debt should not be more than 40% of your income, and your housing debt should not be more than 32%. 32% of your income will buy you different things depending on where you want to live. Figuring out the best locations for you and your budget is something a knowledgeable real estate agent can help you with.
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. WE customize your homebuying search by merging the two priorities of what you want and how much you can afford to find a residence that you'll love.
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.
Make the offer. This can be a maze of "buyer", "seller", "chattels", "deposit", and "completion". WE are happy to prepare the paperwork and go through it with you before submitting it. Remember, offers often go through a few rounds (counter offers, rejections etc.) so remain positive but avoid setting all of your hopes on one home.
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. There are several great inspectors in the area that WE are happy to recommend.
Do a final walkthrough before closing the deal. WE are 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 purchasing your first time home!