Individuals looking to buy a home may benefit from a roadmap of items to keep in mind on the path to the purchase.
When looking to buy a home, the first item on your agenda should entail determining how much house you can afford. By looking into financial variables such as your income, monthly debts, and available down payment, you can then estimate the mortgage amount that works best with your budget. Other factors that come into play when considering what you can afford include your debt-to-income ratio and the type of home loan with which you will be purchasing your home. Don't forget to include property taxes, home insurance, and HOA dues, and the intended interest rate in your calculations, too.
Once you have an idea of how much house you can afford, you are ready to start looking for the home of your dreams.
When looking for your home, consider focusing on factors that matter the most to you. Whether focusing on location, an adequate number of bedrooms, available closet space, or an open floor plan, having an idea of what you want in your home will make the process much easier as you view your options. At the same time, it is also advised to keep in mind that stylistic items shouldn't be stress points as they can be easily changed. These include odd decor, paint colors, old carpet, and ugly countertops. While a burden on your eyes, these items are easy fixes and should not serve as deal breakers when looking for your potential new home.
Items that aren't so easy to change can include the functionality of the floor plan, cramped bedrooms, convenience of the location, size of the yard, and safety of the neighborhood. Keep these larger factors in mind when buying a home.
Upon zeroing in on the home that you would like to buy, the purchase offer will be contingent on items such as a satisfactory home inspection, the approval of your mortgage, and the appraisal which is equal to the purchase price of the home for sale. To keep all of these contingencies in your contract is advised, but it is important to consider that in a competitive market, other buyers may have agreed to waive certain contingencies. Doing so involves a high risk and should only be decided if you are almost 100 percent certain of the safety of the decision.
Unless you are building from the ground up, no house will ever be completely perfect. That being said, prospective buyers should know where they are willing to compromise. While a yard may be an important factor, is it a complete deal breaker if it's not as large as you had hoped? If you are looking for a house in a location with an excellent school district, are you prepared to buy a smaller home than you originally planned to buy? Are you willing to take a longer commute into work to afford a larger home? These are just some of the questions that home buyers should ask themselves as they navigate through the adventure of buying a home.
While it can be overwhelming at times, it is best to have a professional on your side to guide you through the process. If you are in the market for a new home, contact a real estate agent today.