Did you resolve that 2016 was going to be the year that you’d become a homeowner? When considering whether to buy a home, many folks make the mistake of looking solely at the home price and what they think they’re comfortable paying each month. But there’s much more that should go into the decision. Here are a few tips for you, whether you’re buying your first home or you’re a pro at homeownership.
- Before launching into the process of buying a home, be honest with yourself about whether you’re ready. According to the Holmes-Rahe stress scale, mortgages and changes in residence are among the life events that cause stress and can affect one’s health. I say this not to talk you out of buying a house, obviously. If I talked folks out of buying houses, I’d be a lousy realtor. But it’s important to your health that you not take on too much.
- Taking a look at your overall spending is a great place to start, financially. Once you see where your money is truly being spent, you have a greater feel for whether your money is going towards your wants or your needs. It also allows you to set financial goals – including homeownership – and work towards those goals in a responsible manner by putting all of your money to its best use.
- You’ll also want to get prequalified for a loan. This is important whether you’re buying your first home or your 15th as it gives you an idea of what type of loan and what size loan you’ll be eligible for. While this can work in tandem with your budget and your idea of what you’re comfortable paying each month, it can also give you negotiating power when you find the house of your dreams. A word to the wise, though: No matter what your prequalification says you’re eligible for, stick to the amount you feel you can comfortably afford to avoid getting yourself into hot water. When you’re ready to take this step, I can help put you in touch with some great loan officers that make the process as easy as possible.
- The next step is to find a realtor you trust. This is going to be the person that not only helps you get into a home, but also walks you through the myriad of forms that comes with buying a house, negotiates with the home sellers’ agent on your behalf, connects you with the other folks you’ll need to complete the homebuying process (like inspectors, closing attorneys and such), etc.
- You’ll also want to get to know the neighborhoods you’re considering and the style of house that best fits your lifestyle. How much space do you need to be comfortable? Is a one-story ranch better suited to those that will be living in the home than a two-story bungalow? Will you have reserve funds to touch up an older home, or do you need a new-build so as not to put much more into the home after purchase? Does the traffic in a popular area of town bother you, or would you be happier in an area a little further out? Don’t worry. All of these questions may seem overwhelming when you’re considering them on your own. But when you work with a realtor like me, we walk through the questions together and look at homes and neighborhoods until we find the one that’s right for you!
- Once we find your dream home, I’ll work with you on putting in an offer and all the steps that get you to closing and completing that resolution of homeownership. I’ll bring my network of professionals – from inspectors and contractors to real estate closing attorneys – to you to make the process as seamless as possible! I have awesome relationships with a great number of these folks, and I’ll help you find the team that’s right for you.
Let’s work together to make that resolution a reality!