Owning a home is a lasting commitment, and not only financially. It takes a little time and effort on your part as well. The great news is the rewards of homeownership are totally worth this investment. You get to live in a place that is truly your own, and as the reigning landlord you won’t have to answer to anyone but yourself.
While your realtor is there to help you find the home that best suits you, my goal as your mortgage advisor is to bring you guidance and shine some light on the home financing side of the process. This aspect may seem intimidating at first, the more you learn about it, the less scary it will be. Knowledge truly is power!
Here are 4 things you should know before buying a home.
Make Sure You’re Buying Within Your Means
This means figuring out what you’d be comfortable paying. You’ll want to avoid spreading yourself too thin and stressing yourself out when life throws you those unexpected financial curveballs.
A good rule of thumb is to avoid using more than 40% of your income for debts, including your monthly mortgage payments.
To see what this looks like, you’ll need to determine your debt-to-income ratio. This is the amount of income you make monthly compared to the monthly payments you make towards any debts you may have. Once you know this, you can get a sense of how much house you may be able to afford.
Mortgage advisors like me know how best to interpret this information and help you weigh out your home loan options. You wouldn’t want to fall in love with a home only to find it’s unrealistically outside your budget.
Get Pre-Approved For Your Loan
Most realtors will refer you to a mortgage advisor for a pre-approval before they’re able to start helping you find a home. You might as well save yourself some time and come to me first. My job is to help you shop around and find a loan product that fits you.
Once pre-approved, you will have a solid figure to work with when searching for homes you may be able to afford. You’ll have a specific dollar amount to work with, without having to worry about whether you’ll be approved later.
You’ll be able to house-hunt with confidence, knowing that if you find something you love, it’s definitely within your budget. This also signals to any sellers that you’re serious about purchasing the home, and may help give you leverage over similar buyers who have not done their homework.
Figure Out Which Type of Home is Right For You
That mansion might appeal to you, but it’s hardly a realistic goal for most first-time homebuyers.
There are many, many different types of homes, each with their own features, benefits, and drawbacks. Knowing which types most appeal to you and fit your lifestyle (and your budget) will help bring you confidence in your search. This will also help you set realistic expectations for yourself and prevent you from getting too carried away by your excitement.
Work With A Knowledgeable Team
It’s always good to have someone in your corner. With a solid team behind you, you can relax, knowing you’re in capable hands with people who care about you and your future.
You can choose to go it alone, but unless you’re an experienced homebuyer, there will be a lot of unfamiliar territory to navigate. And that’s a lot of extra time spent researching and answering questions you didn’t even know you had.
This is why it’s important to look around a bit and find a realtor and mortgage advisor who have your back and want the best for you. A great team will take the time to get to know you and your goals so they can find solutions that best fit your unique needs.
If you’re ready to take that first step into the rewarding world of homeownership, connect with me and let’s start your journey today.