For most people, a home is the most expensive purchase of their lifetime. That’s why if you’re in the market to buy, it’s important to take your time. Find the right house for you and one that is also within your price range. Below is a list of several things to consider when buying a home.
Your Price Range
Before seeing your first home, it’s crucial to know how much you can afford. Once you determine your price range, try to stay at the lower end it. Otherwise, you’ll risk viewing a home and falling in love with it when owning it is impossible. Meet with a mortgage broker and get a pre-approval. In addition to knowing what you can afford, a pre-approval also makes you more attractive to sellers in a competitive market.
Before heading to a broker, make sure you know your credit score. The higher the credit score, the better your chances of getting a mortgage approval at the best rates and terms available.
Age of the Home
If you’re buying a home on a shoestring budget, looking at an older home may seem financially attractive. However, it may cause financial hardship down the road. Older homes have older parts. This means the electric, plumbing and heating systems all need a thorough examination during a home inspection. The same goes for the roof. An older home cared for by a responsible homeowner may have many updates. However, if your budget doesn’t include finding roofers near me in a couple of years, a newer home may prove the better choice.
You may fall in love with a home that has everything except the perfect location. Unfortunately, you can’t realistically move a house, so make sure the location is favorable. When you begin your search, keep this in mind as you will have the same location — meaning the same commute to work and schools — for many years to come. This is especially important if you plan on raising children.
Size and Layout
The size and layout of the home are also important things to consider. Factor in how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need to live comfortably. If newly married, buy your house for today and plan ahead for tomorrow. You may want several children, pets, or even to take in an aging parent. Do you want a single level or multiple levels? Outside do you want to add a pool or play area for children and pets in the future?
Take into consideration existing amenities such as flooring, carpeting and appliances. While they won’t necessarily make or break the deal, upgrades are expensive. Older doors, windows, and appliances will also increase heating, cooling, and electricity costs.
It’s important to ask your Realtor or conduct a search on your own to find information on crime rates and the quality of the local schools. Even if you don’t have children yet, these things are highly important if kids are part of your future plans.
Owning a home is expensive. If your budget is tight, it’s critical to factor in every fee. These include homeowners insurance and school and property taxes. Find out the approximate expenses upfront, so there are no surprises after you close on your home.
Sizeable Down Payment
Several things can make the mortgage approval process easier. Your credit, income and money in savings are just a few. If you know that you want to own a home within the next few years, start saving money now. The more you put down on a home, the lower your payments will be for the next 30 years.
Owning a home is one of the most expensive and rewarding investments of your life. Make sure that the home you choose fits not only your lifestyle but also your budget.
Last modified: May 19, 2022