Are you thinking about buying a home soon? In today’s post, I’ll share with you a few things to know and consider before taking the leap.We bought our current home almost four years ago.The whole process of buying a home was everything but fun. The part I enjoyed the most was checking other people way of life and house decors. Thankfully it was our second time, and we came in with a lot of knowledge. We avoided a lot of mistakes we did when we bought our first place. The process was incredibly long and even stressful at times, but it was all worth it when we walked in our home for the first time. There’s so much that goes into buying a home. I would like to touch on a few things we considered before buying our first and second home. This list is valid for first-time buyers as well.
Things to consider before buying a home
Whether it’s your first or tenth times, buying a home is an exciting moment. There are a lot of resources for first-time buyers. I suggest you do a lot of reading and research with regards to laws and regulations in your city/country. Also, familiarize yourself with mortgage calculations, learn a few negotiation skills before you commit to buying a home.
Owning a place is incredible, but it comes with a lot of work. Paying a mortgage is a big commitment, so before you decide to take the leap think about long term plans. A few questions we ask ourselves, do we love the city we want to invest in? Are we planning to stay there for at least the next 4 to 5 years? Do we have any family? Are we both in a stable job environment? Are we ready to deal with the extra expenses and taxes that come with the new purchase? Is our credit score good enough? Do we have time to commit to housework, like yard, snow removal?
These are all important questions we asked ourselves before we decided to invest in a bigger place.
Whether you’re buying a house, apartment or a condo, finances are obviously is a sizable and important part of the deal. As we made the decision to purchase our second home, we had to figure out how much we could afford to spend quickly. First, we estimated our down payment. Then, our monthly capacity to take care of the home, the mortgage pre-approval details and finally the misc expenses.
Let’s start with the down payment, pretty simple – you have to muster up as much as you possibly can. That meant for us cutting down on shopping, dining out, and whole other craps. The more we had, the less likely we were to be spending tons on interest payments. The down payment was also partially responsible for how much the bank agreed to lend us.
Last, there may be some specific requirements regarding the minimum percentage of the mortgage you need to come up with as down payment. The bank might ask you to add extra insurance to your mortgage if your down payment is under a certain percentage of the total.
Next to the down payment is the monthly capacity. Most banks have this rule ” You should only spend about a third of your monthly income on your mortgage payments. They use this rule to figure out how much they can afford to loan you. One variable that comes into play here is the interest rate for your mortgage loan. The lower this is, the better. Depending on your current credit score and other products you have with the bank, you may be able to negotiate some pretty good deals.The banks will help you do some calculations. I suggest playing with the mortgage calculators available on most banks websites; they will help you play with interest rates, amortization times, payment schedule, etc…
Once you have the above details worked out after talking to multiple banks to understand your options, you will bet a point where you have your monthly capacity somewhat matching with the mortgage you wish to take. With that in mind, you can start talking pre-approvals with the bank.
The pre-approval is a very important step of the process as it basically allows you to enter an agreement with the bank allowing you to hunt with the peace of mind that your loan is guaranteed. This pre-approval will usually be for a specific interest rate and for a specific amount of time.
With the down payment and the pre-approval out of the way, the last important part of finances is the additional set of expenses that are involved. Knowing about these expenses and anticipating your spendings is critical.
A list is the best way to describe these. I hope I won’t forget anything.
Property taxes for the home you are purchasing. This needs to be part of your monthly budget. Some areas are a lot more expensive than others. Most banks may allow you to merge your property tax payments with your mortgage payments if you do not wish to take care of them personally.
Furnitures and Appliances
Furniture and appliances, you may need to acquire furniture and appliances or may decide to phase part of these purchases out.
Lastly, depending on the type of home you are buying, you may be in need of additional items. Things such as paving a driveway, put up a fence, buying a snowblower, a lawnmower, getting an alarm system and monitoring in place, home owner’s insurance, plain utility bills, etc…
I hope this give you a high level idea of what to account for in terms of finances.
3.Find yourself a good agent/ realtor.
A good agent will make a difference in the home buying process. You need an agent that’ll look out for your interests, pay attention to details and a good negotiator.Our Agent was the most patient woman i’ve ever met. She could show us 10 houses a day without getting tired or frustrated. Not to mention that she answered every question we had.We never felt pressured at any point in time. She helped us buy both our homes. Most agents will make you sign a contract. I will suggest not signing anything over 3 months.
Finally, once we’ve completed these steps, we were ready to check out places. I can’t wait to share more about that process and some of the things to look for while you’re hunting for the house of your dream. Have you gone through the home buying process ? What was your experience like?