You’ve recently decided you need a new home. Perhaps you need more space for your growing family. Or you’re downsizing now that your kids have grown up. Or it would help if you had something closer to work to ease your commute. Maybe you need a bigger home office to work from home. There are many reasons why people need to buy a new house. With that in mind, there are several things you need to have in place when you’re ready to get down to the actual business of finding and buying that new house.
What Do You Want in a Home?
It is essential to be clear about what you want out of a new home. An easy way to organize your thoughts is to make a list. Make three columns: Must Have, would like, and no way. Remember to factor your budget into your list and be realistic as you prioritize wants and needs. You may not be able to get everything you want, but the goal is to find a home that meets the top priorities on your list. Also, a list is a great thing to have when speaking to your real estate agent so they have a good understanding of what you are looking for, which will help them show you homes that meet your needs.
Where Do You Want to Live?
If you know the neighborhood or street where you want to find a home, you’re already way ahead of the game. If you’re not sure or new to the area, this is something an experienced real estate agent can help you with. A choice of neighborhoods should consider your comfort and safety, the quality of nearby schools, availability of retail and restaurants, and distance to your job. Because an agent is familiar with the area, they can help you select a neighborhood that will be the best fit considering everything you are looking for.
Do You Know Your Credit Score?
Get a copy of your credit reports, preferably one from each of the three major credit bureaus. You need to know ahead of time if you have any problems to fix on the report. Banks will loan money to people who don’t have perfect credit, but you’re probably going to have to put more money down and prove you can afford your mortgage and insurance.
What Can You Afford?
Exactly how much money do you have for a down payment? Twenty percent of the purchase price is often quoted, but a more significant down payment may be best in some cases if you have significant savings. It’s going to show the lender you’re serious about the purchase, and in the long run, it will save you money in interest. You may also have to take mortgage insurance into account if you put less than twenty percent down, adding to your monthly mortgage payment. Take a hard look at your monthly budget and be honest about what you can afford as a monthly mortgage payment. You also need to plan for fees and taxes, both annual and at closing. Once you sign the paperwork, the house is yours, along with any maintenance and repair costs so don’t stretch yourself beyond what you can afford.
Is it too Good to Be True?
Owning a home is an excellent goal for anyone, but don’t forget that if it sounds too good to be true, it very well maybe. Far too many people have lost their homes because they made deals that sounded great at the moment but wound up being too much of an investment for them. Working closely with a real estate professional and a reputable mortgage professional can help you avoid many pitfalls of home buying. Your agent will guide you, answer your questions and offer solutions throughout the homebuying process. If you are ready to buy a home now, or are just considering it for the future, let’s work together to get you the best deal on your next home.
The Janis Penick Team
RE/MAX Bastrop Area
Serving Bastrop, Cedar Creek and Smithville
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The Janis Penick Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Bastrop, Cedar Creek and Smithville, TX.