Simple Home Buying Advice
Buying a home will likely be the biggest purchase of your entire life. When looking to buy a home, small mistakes or oversights on your part can end up costing you a lot of money. To help you navigate the often murky waters of home buying, I’ve put together a few tips.
1. The more you can put down, the more competitive your interest rates. If you are only able to put 5% down, your financing options will be limited. If you can manage to pay 10-15% down, you will find much broader options. If you are able to pay 25% down, you are going to find the best interest rates and be in a much better position to negotiate with potential lenders.
2. Know that you will be paying more than the cost of the house. There are several other expenses involved in homebuying. Being aware of these additional costs will save you time and stress. A few of those costs include home inspections, property survey, title fees, etc.
3. Don’t take the maximum amount offered by your lender. Use a mortgage calendar and budget planner to figure out what you can realistically afford. Once you determine what your budget is, stay within your budget. Do not even look at homes that cost more than you have determined you can afford.
4. Plan ahead and boost your credit score. Get a copy of your credit reports and make sure there are no errors, and take care of any delinquencies.
5. When considering a home for purchase, check out the neighborhood. It is a good idea to drive through the neighborhood of potential homes at different times of day and different days of the week. This will give you a clearer picture of what to expect day-to-day. Perhaps it is quiet and peaceful during the weekdays but is loud and rowdy on the weekends. Visiting the neighborhood and home several times will help you determine if this is the case.
6. Feel free to speak to the neighbors. Talking to neighbors will give you insight, not only into the community you are considering moving into, but also into the neighbors themselves. Consider how they keep up their lawns, the condition of their homes. Ask them if what they like and don’t like about the neighborhood.
7. To keep your potential homes straight, it is good to take notes and pictures when you are visiting different homes.
8. Get home insurance quotes before you buy. Doing so will help save you money and could make you aware of potential issues, for example if the property is in a flood-zone.
This is not an exhaustive list, but hopefully keeping these few things in mind will help make your home buying experience a little less stressful and will help save you from making costly mistakes.