When you begin searching for your next new home it can be super exciting, but a little scary too - especially if you’re a first time buyer. Determining the style of home, to the kind of appliances, there are numerous factors that go into this type of a purchase. Here is a checklist with some important things to consider when you're in the market for that new home.
1. Defining Your Budget is Crucial
You don't want to get too excited about a house that you may not be able to afford. You should take some time to think about your finances prior to beginning your home search. Start by checking your credit score, then monitoring your debt. Meeting with a loan officer will help you get a better picture of your financial situation and the types of loans you can qualify for.
One way creditors will determine your qualifications for a mortgage loan is your debt-to-income ratio. The debt-to-income ratio is figured out by taking your monthly debt then dividing it by your gross monthly income. You should keep that ratio at 43% or lower. Borrowers with a higher debt-to-income ratio will probably have problems making their monthly payments.
Also, think about your down payment. One factor in getting a good mortgage rate may rely on how much cash you are able to put down. A rule of thumb is to put 20% down. Anything below 20% will require mortgage insurance and end up costing you more money long-term. Everyone has a different set of circumstances, so deciding the right path for you will require you to analyze your situation.
2. Think About Your MUST Have vs. WISH List
You should begin searching for homes that meet your "must-have" list. Your must-have list is what you absolutely need in your new home; this helps narrow down the home search. Try to focus your must have list on the most important aspects of a home. Little changes like painting and simple remodeling projects can be figured out later. Narrowing down your search to homes that don't require major changes should help you choose a home that is within your budget.
Think about the type of home you want. Are you looking for a Single Family or Townhome/Condo? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? Do you need to stay in a certain school district? All of this should be considered.
Keep your list short and try to keep your must-haves focusing on major requirements. Prioritizing your needs will help when it comes to decision-making time. Your list should provide you with an easy way to determine what aspects you can compromise on or not. If you need help putting your list together - contact me.
3. Think About the Location You Want
The location of your new home will serve several purposes. Location impacts your daily life, and the value of the home. When searching for locations in terms of the resell values, you should look at things like: schools, crime stats, and the neighborhood & community. A little research can go a long way. Check out my Market Insider, a platform that gives great details on all these factors. Besides looking at the current real estate market and trends, take the information and think about the value of the area might be in 5 or 10 years when you potentially could resell your home.
I am here to help you with all of your real estate needs - everything from the showing you homes to writing the contract with you, and all of the paperwork. I can guide you through the process and assist in your home buying decisions.