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Everything You Need To Know About Buying A Car – Making the leap from renting to buying is a major life decision, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. The key to making sure your first home buying journey goes smoothly is to prepare yourself properly and know what to expect on the road to home ownership.
Once you officially start looking for a home and working with a real estate agent to buy your new home, many new details will emerge, but right now your main goal as a potential buyer is clarity so you can determine whether Now is the time to buy, and if so, understand what you need to get started. Think of this as the “pre-purchase” phase, where you build the confidence and knowledge you need to move forward.
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Read on for expert tips on how to start the home buying process, including specific questions that can help you determine if you’re a first-time home buyer.
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Now that you know the general steps and considerations involved in starting the home buying process, let’s go over each of these points in detail. We hope this helps you learn more about starting your journey to home ownership!
Continuing to rent or buy a home is an important concept to analyze as a team. Below are some considerations for deciding whether home ownership is the next logical step in your life.
Buying a home can provide a stable foundation and a place to grow. If you have children on the horizon, buying a home can be like planting some roots for your future family. Even thinking about pets like dogs can open your eyes to home ownership with the flexibility of your yard. What does your job look like? Do you see yourself in the same position or will you remain in the same job market in the future? Buying a home and having to move after a short period of time is not an ideal situation to be in.
If you like to be in a new place every few years, buying a home may not be the best lifestyle choice for you at this point. If you’re afraid of jumping from rental to rental, then sustainable home ownership may be just what the doctor ordered.
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Buying a house is a means of creating wealth for you. A home can increase in value over time through equity and appreciation. If this appeals to you, then home ownership could be a great choice!
Buying a home is a clean slate, a blank canvas. You can paint walls, destroy walls, build new walls. Home ownership gives you the tools to improve your property the way you want. If you hate the idea of changing light bulbs, fixing a leaky faucet, or mowing the lawn, home ownership may not be for you. While this does not rule out buying property, it does make some types of property more attractive, such as condos or townhouses.
Buying a home can be time-consuming and stressful for a couple. Make sure you and your spouse can focus on the home buying process. If you’re stressed about other life factors, then it might be a good idea to put off buying a home for a while.
You’ll want to collect all of your bank statements to get a pulse of your available cash flow.
Things You Need To Know Before Buying A Home
Do you have an investment account? It’s good to take a snapshot of these as your lender may want to look at them down the road.
You’ll want to determine if there are any financial plans or goals that take precedence over buying your first home. Do you have student debt or high interest loans that you want to pay off soon? Are there investment goals like 401k/IRA or periodic brokerage account contributions that you need to plan for? You want to budget for each financial goal and how it aligns with your monthly financial budget as a team.
You want to determine how much you can afford for a home. There are several rules you can follow to give yourself a good gauge of how much home you can afford. A general rule of thumb is to calculate 25-30% of your joint monthly income. Use this number as a comfort zone for your monthly mortgage + taxes + insurance on your new home. Bankrate and Zillow also have calculators to help you determine these numbers.
Most home buyers must work with a lender to obtain a mortgage to complete the home purchase transaction. There are a handful of things you’ll want to check and correct (if needed) before entering the home buying process.
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You should be aware of your and your spouse’s credit score and history. Fortunately, in today’s digital age, achieving this in the short term is not that complicated. Since 2003, everyone in the United States has been given free access to one credit report per year from three reporting bureaus. You can also spend some money getting your FICO score from all three agencies.
If you find anything wrong with your credit history, you should try to fix the problem before working with a lender. Maybe your report shows a delinquent payment on a credit card that you’ve already settled with the credit card company, or your bank made a mistake on the account that caused the account to be overdrawn. You want to start a dispute directly with the journal that shows the error.
You must verify that you have at least two active lines of business in the last 12-24 months for FHA loans and at least 3 lines of business for a conventional loan.
If possible, try to avoid closing old but active credit accounts. If you keep using them periodically and pay them off promptly, they will increase your credit score. Try not to open any new lines of credit or run multiple credit checks in the time leading up to your home purchase. Doing these things will affect your credit score and can cause problems with your lender when trying to get a mortgage. Avoid major purchases such as new cars or furniture. If you need to make a significant purchase, if possible, buy with cash only. Keep your money where it is. Do not close checking accounts or transfer large amounts of money. These types of activities require a full paper trail for your lender, so it’s easier to avoid if possible.
First Time Home Buyer Tips: Everything You Need To Know Before You Buy Your First Home
Once you start meeting with lenders, you will find that they will need documents from you, lots of them for this matter. Better to get them all squared away now, rather than weeks before closing when time is no longer on your side.
Now we come to one of the best parts of the home buying process. You can write down your dreams and wishes for your new home. It’s important to know what your home needs, but it’s also good to have criteria that you can do without or upgrade later.
When you think of a home in terms of a skeleton, these are typical features that determine the ideal “bones” for your desired home. You can change things like carpet, paint, and countertops in your home, but replacing the bones of your home is much more expensive. How many bedrooms do you need now and how many will you need in the future? Think about future children or families who may live or visit frequently. What is the ideal number of bathrooms for your home? For example, do you need more than one bathroom to get ready in the morning? Do you need storage? Do you want extra rooms for entertaining, work or fitness? Do you have cars that you need to park in your new home? What is the ideal number of parking spaces? Do you care if they are covered spots or do you need covered garage parking?
Determine what home styles they like and don’t like. Determine the types of housing you enjoy living in and the types of housing you avoid. Perhaps you only consider two-story homes and want to eliminate ranch and ranch-style homes. To narrow down the list, make a note of the houses they like and don’t like. Don’t be afraid to keep an open mind because once you start planning shows, you can explore the details. Also think about the ideal floor plan for your new home. Where do you want the bedrooms to be? Do you like open concept style homes?
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Condo – If you hate apartment living, you probably won’t enjoy owning a condo. Owning a condo is as close to renting an apartment as you can get. You will share walls with neighbors, share parking and other common areas. You will also be subject to a Home Owners Association (HOA). If you want to live in a high-density area like downtown or uptown Minneapolis, buying a condo might be one of those options.
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