What I Need To Know About Buying A Car – Moving from renting to buying is an important 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 properly and know what to expect on the road to home ownership.
Many new details will emerge as you officially begin house hunting and work with a real estate agent to purchase your new home, but right now your primary goal as a potential home buyer is to gain clarity so you can determine if now is the right time to buy and, if so, understand what you’ll need to get started. Think of this stage as the “pre-purchase” stage, where you build the confidence and knowledge you’ll need to move forward.
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Read on as we uncover expert advice on how to get started in the home buying process, including specific questions that can help you determine if you’re ready to become 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 break down each of these tips in detail. We hope this can help you learn more about getting started on the road to home ownership!
Continuing to rent or buy a home is an important concept to analyze as a team. Below are some topics for deciding if home ownership is the next logical step in your life.
By buying a home, you can build a stable foundation and a place to grow. If you have a child on the way, buying a home can serve as a way to put down roots for your future family. Even thinking about pets like a dog can open your eyes to home ownership with the flexibility of your backyard. What does your job look like? Do you see yourself staying in the same position or in the same job market in the future? Buying a house and then moving soon after is not an ideal situation to find yourself in.
If you like to be in a new location every few years, then buying a home may not be the best lifestyle for you at this time. If you dread jumping from rental to rental, then stable home ownership may be just what the doctor ordered.
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Buying a home is a means of creating wealth for you. A home can increase in value over time through both 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, tear down walls, build new walls. Home ownership gives you the means to improve your property as you wish. If you hate the idea of changing light bulbs, fixing a leaky faucet or mowing the lawn, then home ownership may not be right for you. While this does not preclude buying real estate, it does make some types of property more attractive, such as apartments or townhouses.
Buying a home can be a time-consuming and stressful time 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 putting off buying a home for a while might be a good idea.
You’ll want to gather all of your bank statements to get a pulse on your available cash.
Things You Need To Know Before Buying A Home
Do you have investment accounts? It’s a good idea to record them as your lender may want to look at them down the line
You’ll want to determine if there are any financial plans or goals that take priority over buying your first home. Do you have existing student debt or high-interest loans that you want to pay off soon? Are there investment goals you need to plan for a 401k/IRA or periodic brokerage account contributions? You’ll want to plan out any financial goals and how it will fit into your monthly finances as a team.
You will want to determine how much house you can afford. There are a ton of rules you can follow to give yourself a decent measure of how much house you can afford. A general rule of thumb is to calculate 25 to 30 percent of your combined monthly income. Use this number as a comfort zone for your monthly mortgage + taxes + insurance for your new home. Bankrate and Zillow also have some calculators to help you determine these numbers.
Most home buyers will need to work with a lender to obtain a mortgage in order to complete the home purchase transaction. There are a few things you’ll want to check and fix (if necessary) before entering the home buying process.
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You need to be familiar with your spouse’s credit score and history. Fortunately in today’s digital age, this is not very complicated to achieve in a short period of time. Since 2003, everyone in the US has been given FREE access to one credit report per year from the three reporting bureaus. You can also spend some money to get your FICO score from all three agencies.
If you find anything incorrect in your credit history, you’ll want to make an effort to fix the problem before you start working with a lender. Maybe your report shows a late payment on a credit card that you’ve already cleared with your credit card issuer, or your bank made an error on your account that caused an overdraft problem. You want to file a dispute directly with the reporting office showing the error.
You want to verify that you have at least two active trade lines in the last 12 to 24 months for FHA loans and at least 3 for a conventional loan
If possible, try to avoid closing older but active credit accounts. If you continue to use them periodically and pay them off promptly, they will boost your credit score. Try not to open new lines of credit or have multiple credit checks in the time leading up to your home purchase. This will lower your credit score and could cause problems with your lender when trying to get a mortgage. Avoid big purchases like new cars or furniture. If you need to make a significant purchase, if possible, try to buy with cash only. Keep your money where it is. Do not close checking accounts or move large sums of money. These types of activities would require a detailed paper trail for your lender, so they are easier to avoid if possible.
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When you start meeting with the lender, you will find out that they need documents from you, and a lot of them. Better to get them all sorted now 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 record your dreams and wishes for your new home. It is essential to know what is needed for your home, but it is also good to have some criteria that you can do without or upgrade later.
When thinking about a home from a skeletal perspective, these are typical features that determine the ideal “bones” for your desired home. You can change things like carpet, paint color, and countertops in a home, but it’s much more expensive to replace the bones of a home. How many bedrooms do you need now and how many in the future? Think about future children or family that 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 have any storage requirements? Do you want additional rooms for hobbies, 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 about uncovered driveways or do you need covered parking in a garage?
Determine home style likes and dislikes. Determine the types of housing you would enjoy living in and the types of housing you would avoid. You may only consider two-story homes and want to rule out ranch-style homes. Take notes on apartment likes and dislikes to narrow down the list. Don’t be afraid to keep an open mind as you can get into the details when you start scheduling gigs. Also, consider the ideal floor plan for your new home. Where do you want the bedrooms to be? Do you like open concept homes?
Buying A House As Is: What You Need To Know
Apartments – if you hate living in an apartment, you probably won’t enjoy home ownership. Owning an apartment is as close to renting as you can get. You will share walls with your neighbors, have a common parking lot 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, then buying an apartment might be one of the
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