Buying a home is an important decision and one that requires a great deal of planning. To help you be prepared, here are some recommendations to boost your success when searching for and buying your next home.
Set a Budget and Stick to It
Before you begin the home search, it is recommended to find out what you can afford and make a budget to fit within your finances. A good starting point is looking at how much you pay for housing or rent now and look at any additional income you have that you could apply toward your mortgage payment.
The amount of monthly income you can put toward a mortgage payment will also need to cover your property taxes and home owner's insurance, as these are traditionally added into your monthly mortgage payment. If you are not sure how much to calculate for these fees, talk to your realtor. They can find out a home's property tax and can help you calculate a monthly home owner's premium. You can also talk to your insurance agent to get an accurate estimate for a new home owner's insurance policy premium.
Once you have determined a monthly payment you can afford, you can estimate how much of a mortgage that will help you qualify for. You can use a free online mortgage calculator to determine a total loan amount based on the current mortgage interest rate and your allotted mortgage payment. If you are meeting with a mortgage broker, they can help you determine how much loan you can afford.
Use the Help of a Real Estate Professional
To find the right home you may need to sift through and tour numerous homes. And when you first begin to look, you will need to determine the current conditions of the market, which can all take time and energy. You may not have the spare time during weekends and in the evenings to put this level of effort into a home search, between work and family time.
Hiring a real estate professional who knows the current market and will have the resources to search for a home specific to your needs and your wish list of requirements can be a smart move. Your real estate agent will be able to create a customized search and update you when any new listings become available so you can be one of the first buyers to view the property. This can give you a priority to grab the home you want before anyone else makes an offer on it.
Once you have found a property you want to make an offer on, your realtor's expertise and help does not end there. They can help you navigate through completing the purchase offer contract, submitting a competitive offer on the home you want, and negotiating any sales details.