Buying a home is a big commitment! It is also something you don’t do very often. The process can be overwhelming! My goal here is to help you decide if you should take the plunge. I have some questions you should ask yourself. These should help you focus on where you are in your life and if home ownership is for you.
There are many reasons why people decide to buying a home. There are lots of benefits of owning a home, a few of the most popular are the pride of ownership and because buying a home is a solid investment.
Regardless of the reason, it’s important to understand exactly why you want to purchase your first home.
When you understand why….you can focus on the goal. This establishes the guidelines for your search. Move up, downscale, closer to work, stop renting, schools…..find your focus.
Buying a home will cost you some money. There are many costs involved in buying a house, including the down payment, escrow costs, prepayment, loan fees…appraisal, home inspection.
If you do not know what closing costs are you can read this CLOSING COSTS.
There are loan programs that assist with down payment and closing costs….but not everyone’s eligible for the programs. A good lender can help you.
If you’re not in a position currently to buy a home because you don’t have enough money saved you can start saving!
The first step to buying a house is to get pre-approved for a mortgage.
You need to know how much money a lender is willing to lend you. It doesn’t make any sense to go shopping for a new Cadillac if you can only afford a Chevy , right? It’s the same theory with buying a home. Also in Arizona you cannot make an offer without a pre-approval.
If you cannot qualify for a mortgage, it doesn’t make any sense to go look at homes. It is a waste of everyone time.
Buyers cannot qualify for a mortgage for many reasons including low credit scores, bankruptcies, late payments, or poor employment history.
If poor credit is the reason you’re unable to qualify for a mortgage then look into fixing your credit.
Depending on where you’re looking to buy your home, there might be some great programs and grants available for buyers. Discuss this with your lender.
Think it through…is the school driving your search? Location near mom? Location near work?
This needs to balance with the loan you qualify for. If you want a home in a pricey neighborhood but don’t qualify for the money needed to buy there…you need to reevaluate. Either wait to buy or reassess your needs.
Inspection phase, earnest money deposit, title fees, bank appraisal, mortgage commitments…These are some of the steps that you’ll encounter throughout the process of buying your home.
A good Realtor can explain the process to you. If you want to read a bit —the home buying timeline can help.
Responsibilities such as upkeep, general maintenance, and unexpected repairs are things you have to keep in mind. Are you ready for these things?
You may need to change your lifestyle. Cut back on dinners out and Starbucks.
You need to pay more than principal and interest on your loan each month…..HOA fees, taxes, and insurance ,utility bills, refuse bills, and luxuries such as cable TV and internet take a bite out of your paycheck. Many buyers create their budget only factoring in their monthly mortgage which can be a huge mistake.