Owning a home is a dream shared by many, but in order for the purchase to be the happy and satisfying experience it was meant to be, you need to ensure that you are financially and mentally prepared for the responsibilities that come with it.
Are you ready to pay the mortgage and taxes, and keep up with ongoing and sometimes costly home maintenance? Preparing for home ownership requires you to take critical stock of your finances and your expectations. The first thing you should do is speak to a mortgage professional to find how much home you can afford, and if you need to work on any credit repairs. This will save unnecessary disappointment down the road.
Are you ready to buy?
Owning your own home is about being prepared to maintain your home over the years, and realizing that part of your income and time will go towards repairs and maintenance. It's about being willing to take the risks of home ownership with a realistic expectation of the rewards.
How much can you afford?
It can be discouraging to find that your salary won't stretch as far as the home you want to own. However, sacrificing a huge part of your income just to pay the mortgage can very quickly make home ownership a burden rather than a point of pride. It's better to buy a what you can afford now and think about purchasing your "dream home" in a few years.
What is your debt-to-income ratio?
This is something that lenders take very seriously. Your overall debt should not be more than 40% of your income, and your housing debt should not be more than 32%. What 32% of your income will buy depends on where you want to live. In rural areas for example, it can buy a very comfortable residence and ample acreage. In highly sought-after urban areas however, it may not even buy a 400 square foot studio.
What do you want?
Do you like the idea of cleaning your own gutters? Do you shudder at the thought of lawn care? Would you rather just pay a fee every month and have everything done for you? The answers to these questions can help you narrow down the search for the right type of property for you.
You need a good agent who will work hard for you. Our real estate team is dedicated to helping you find the right home, at the best price. We want you to find the home that will make you happy and successful in real estate ownership.
When you hire us to help you buy your first home, we’ll need to know what you want and how much you can afford. Then we'll find a way to merge these two priorities and find a residence that you'll enjoy owning.
Keep your objectives in mind when visiting a home. Sometimes the idea of owning a home can overwhelm your practical sense, so keep your feelings in check. Keep a list handy of the features that you need and want in a home, and judge each home by the list instead of by details that could distract you from your goal. When you're alone with your agent, you can go over the pros and cons of each home. We can help you stay on track while still keeping our eyes out for a great property.
Engage the services of a good real estate lawyer. We can recommend several lawyers in the area who might be a good fit for you. Interview them to ensure that the lawyer you choose is someone you can work with. The legalities of transferring ownership can be complex, and a lawyer can be your best defense against future legal troubles. A good lawyer can charge from about $700 to over $1000 for their services, but the thousands of dollars saved in legal fees later on makes this a worthwhile expense.
Make the offer. We'll be happy to prepare the Offer to Purchase and go through it with you before submitting it. Remember, the seller may reject or counter your offer, so even at this late date, avoid setting your heart on the home you hope to own. You'll need to write a deposit check to prove the seriousness of your offer. This “binder deposit” will be held in escrow for you, and applied to your purchase price at closing.
Get all necessary inspections done. A home inspector will check for signs of harmful materials like asbestos, radon and mold. They'll also check for evidence of pests, faulty wiring and leaks. This is a crucial part of the home purchase. Not getting an inspection done means that you could be stuck in a home with a bad case of black mold and no recourse other than to pay for its removal. Inspections will cost a few hundred dollars, but again, this is more than worth it in the end. There are several licensed NYS home inspectors in the area that we'd be happy to recommend.
Do a final walkthrough before closing the deal. We'd be happy to do this with you to make sure that everything agreed upon is completed prior to the final signing.
From the first interview that determines your requirements, to the day that you receive the keys, we can help you with the complicated process of buying a home. Don't hesitate to contact us to find out more about how we can make the home buying process easier!
Contact us for more information about first time home purchasing.