Acquire Some Knowledge Before Buying Your Dream Home
There is a lot to think about when considering a dream home. Feeling overwhelmed and confused is easy, but don’t let emotions take over to the point of falling into some avoidable traps. Here are eight home buying tips to consider before entering the market.
Know your credit. This will be a large basis for the mortgage you will need to purchase your new home. By contacting the three major credit bureaus you can obtain a copy from each. Both your score and your payment histories will be in question. Typically for the very best mortgages, a score above 660 and no late payments in the past 12 – 24 months will be required.
Know your budget. Mortgage companies will have the final word on how much you are qualified for. But knowing what will be comfortable to you is most important, particularly when mortgage companies qualify you for more than you may be comfortable paying each month. If there is any home buying tip you take from your research, let it be the phrase “Don’t get in over your head.”
Consider more than just the payment. When you are considering what constitutes a comfortable payment, don’t just look at the mortgage payment. This is only the principal and the interest due on the loan. In addition, property taxes and homeowner’s insurance will be added to your payment. In some cases, association dues or mortgage insurance may apply.
Take a homebuyer class. These classes are valuable resources, especially for first-time homebuyers. Counselors leading these classes will offer several great home buying tips as well as homeownership considerations that may not have crossed your mind.
Know what you want and what you need in a home. There is a fine line between what you need in a home – like at least three bedrooms if you have 2 or more children – and what you want in a home – like a pool in the backyard. Take some time to consider these very carefully, write them out, and determine which are “needs” and which are “wants.” These are very important items to discuss with your realtor to help you find the home that meets your ideas.
Work with a real estate agent you trust. Realtors have experience and access to things you don’t. You will work closely with your agent, maybe even daily. This may be the most valuable relationship you have in your home buying transaction, so interview more than one agent.
Visit your prospective home at different times of the day and week. What may seem like a quiet street at 10 am on Sunday in the summer may be a bustling court of chaos at 8 pm on a Saturday.