Are you or someone you know thinking of finally taking the plunge and becoming a homeowner? Well, if this is you then take some time and give these tips some thought...
1.) Ensure to check prices of comparable homes in the area you are interested in
Use my website, www.BetterLivingByDrew.com to do a quick search using the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) or reach out to me for assistance.
Also, use http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/mortgages/mortgage-calculator.aspx to get an estimated on what the monthly mortage payment will be.
2.) Research your average monthly housing costs
ALWAYS include the tax rate and insurance into your costs. In certain locations, the amount you pay for taxes and insurance can almost DOUBLE your mortgage payment.
To get an idea of what insurance will cost you, pick a property in the area where you want to live and make a call to an insurance agent for an estimate. You won't be obligated to buy the policy, but you'll have a good idea of what you'll pay if you decide to buy.
3.) Get an estimate for closing costs
The cost of purchasing your home should never be over looked. Closing costs include origination fees charged by the lender, title and settlement fees, taxes and prepaid items like homeowners insurance or homeowners association fees. Let me know if you'd like this information and I would be more than happy to work with my Escrow Officer to obtain this for you :)
4.) Factor the cost of your home into your budget
Being House-Poor is no fun!! Fannie Mae recommends the average person spend no more than 29% of their income on housing.
5.) Study your credit
Faulty credit and the inability to make a down payment can can immediately end your plans on becoming a homeowner. Understanding your creditworthiness before you begin the process will only help you with better positioning to becoming a homeowner. I recommend using Credit Karma at www.CreditKarma.com to check for unresolves issues and errors in your credit report.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
6.) Find a lender you're comfortable with and obtain a pre-approval
Shopping lenders is VERY important. Many lenders have different programs and have the ability to shop better rates overall. Building a relationship with a lender who is receptive, welcoming, understanding and patient is ideal for a first time home buyer. Most lenders understand how difficult a time this can be for you and they want to make sure they are doing everything possible to take the stress away. If you'd like to speak to a lender, please let me know. My preferred lenders are absolutely the best in the business and will ALWAYS take the time out of their day to help you!
There are many more tips that I can provide to a first time home buyer who is potentially thinking of purchasing a home. Feel free to reach out to me directly and I will do my best to coach you down the path of becoming a HOMEOWNER!
Until next time -- KSA DREW OUT!!