- Selecting a Realtor
- Finding a Home
- How Much Can You Afford?
Although it should never be an issue - it often is. Unfortunately, many first-time homeowners make the mistake of buying a house that they cannot afford. Along with the price of the home, you should also take into consideration the property taxes (and possible increases), mortgage loan interest, periodic home maintenance/upkeep, home owner's and mortgage insurance, average monthly utility bill payments, and home owner association fees (if any).
A good rule of thumb, when purchasing a home, is to spend 2.5 years of total annual household income.
Total Annual Household Income=$100,000
$100,000 X 2.5 years = a $250,000 house
If you do not think you can afford a certain home, than chances are, you probably can't. Do not bank on future pay increases or the like. Instead, find a home in your current price range. Is worrying about how you are going to make the next mortgage payment what you really want in a dream home? Why struggle now, when you know, that in the future, you will be able to afford the home of your dreams...or better?
What to Look for in a House
Is the appeal of the house on the outside only? When considering a home purchase, the practical aspects of the house should, in most cases, outweigh the curb appeal.
If your dream home seems too good to be true - it just might be. Without being pushy, try finding out the maintenance history and problems, neighborhood info, and anything else you feel is important. Asking questions before you get too far into the purchasing process can save you hassles and heartbreak down the road.
Find a real estate agent who will work around your schedule. If you are only available to view homes on nights and weekends, you won't have much luck with an agent who only works weekdays.
Improving & Using Home Equity