Are You Ready For Home Ownership?
Owning a home may be your dream, but in order for the purchase to be the happy and rewarding experience it was meant to be, it is important to ensure that you are financially and mentally prepared for the responsibilities that come with it.
Some people have the idea that home ownership is like renting, but with the power to have pets and paint the walls whatever color you like. However, while these privileges are available to homeowners in most municipalities, they also 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 expectations.
Questions for Prospective Homeowners
Are you ready to purchase?
Owning your own home is about more than decorating any way you like; it's about being prepared to maintain your home in the years to come, and realizing that your time and income will go towards repairs and maintenance. It's about being willing to take the risks of home ownership with a realistic expectation of the rewards.
How much can you afford?
It can be discouraging to discover that your salary won't stretch as far as the home you want to own. However, sacrificing a huge part of your income to just pay the mortgage can quickly make homeownership a burden rather than a point of pride. It's better to buy a modest home now and purchase your "dream home" in a few years.
What is your debt-to-income ratio?
This is something that lenders take very seriously. Your total debt should not be more than 40% of your income, and your housing debt should not be more than 32%. What 32% of your income buys will depend on where you want to live. In rural areas for example, this amount can buy a very comfortable residence and ample acreage. In highly sought-after urban areas however, the same amount may not even buy a 400 square foot bachelor suite.
What do you want?
Do you like cleaning your own gutters? Do you cringe at the thought of lawn care? Would you rather pay a fee every month and have it all 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'?Answers to these questions can help narrow down the search for the property that is right for you.
We Can Help
You need a good agent who will work hard for you. Our real estate team is dedicated to help you find the right home, at the best price. We want you to find the home that makes you happy and successful in real estate ownership.
When you employ us to help you buy your first home, we want to know what you desire and how much you can afford. We will then find a way to combine these two priorities and find a residence that you'll enjoy owning.
Keep your objectives in mind when visiting a home. The idea of owning a home can sometimes be overwhelmwing so make sure to keep your feelings in check. Keep a list accessible of the features that you need and want in a home, and judge each home by the list instead of by details that distract. When you're alone with your agent, you can go over the pros and cons of each home. We will help you stay on track and all the while keep our eyes out for a great property.
Engage the services of a good real estate lawyer. We can recommend several local lawyers 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 risky, and a lawyer can be your best defense against future legal troubles. A good lawyer can charge several hundred to over a thousand dollars for their services, but the money saved in legal fees later on makes this a good expense.
Make the offer. This can be a maze of "buyer", "seller", "chattels", "deposit", and "completion". We'll be happy to prepare the paperwork and go through it with you before submitting it. Remember, the seller may reject or counter your offer, so even at this late date, avoid setting your heart on the home you hope to own. You'll probably have to write a deposit check to the seller's broker that proves the seriousness of your offer.
Get all necessary inspections done. A home inspector will check for signs of harmful materials like asbestos, lead paint and mold. They will 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 for instance, and no recourse other than to pay for its removal. Inspections will cost a few hundred dollars, but again, this amount is more than worth it in the end. There are several local inspectors in the area that we'd be happy to recommend.
Do a final walkthrough before closing the deal. We would be more than happy to do this with you to make sure that everything agreed upon is completed prior to the final signing.
From the first interview to determine 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 first time home purchasing.