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Buying a home will most likely the biggest purchase you'll ever make and as a real estate agent, I find that clients often forget to consider a number of crucial factors. Let's take a closer look at ten things you should consider before making a final decision to buy a home.
1. The Market
Depending on where you reside or what time of year it is, the housing market can play a major role in your choice. Leaning on an experienced real estate agent such as myself can help to lend further insight. There are buyer markets and seller markets. In a buyer’s market, a home buyer has a bigger chance of getting some financial concessions from the seller. Things such as the price of the home, seller’s assistance toward closing costs, are much easier to negotiate in a buyer’s market. When the market is flooded with home buyers compared to the available homes for sale it is a seller’s market. There are usually many more offers being given on homes which often drives up the price of the homes that are available.
2. Necessary Steps
If you are like most first time home buyers you probably don’t have a clue where to start in fulfilling your home ownership goal. The very first step you should take is contacting a Mortgage Broker and seeing if you are indeed qualified to buy a home right now. Apply for a pre-approved loan before proceeding to any other steps in the home buying process. Afterward, if qualified you should use the services of a Buyers Realtor to help you find a home that fits your needs. Your Mortgage Broker and Realtor will assist you in all the additional steps to buying a home.
3. Your Personal Wants
Before you sit down with a real estate agent, you'll need to know what your personal wants are and what is important to you. Knowing exactly what you are looking for serves to simplify the process. It is a good idea to not only consider your wants in a house but to also make a list of the must haves in a house that you would buy for your family. Doing this will help ensure that you buy a home that reasonably accommodates your family’s needs.
4. Budget Constraints
Do you have a strong idea of what you can afford to pay each month? Do you have the necessary monies saved? Once you've reached a consensus on these figures, you can take all of the additional costs into account. By speaking with your Loan Officer you will be able to determine how much total money you will actually need upfront to buy a home. You will also be able to determine how much of a mortgage payment obligation you would incur by buying a home.
5. Credit Score
Your individual credit score plays a role in the type of loan you can receive, as well as your interest rate. The earlier you learn about your credit report, the more time you have to fix any discrepancies. Your loan officer can pull your credit report for you and let you know which programs you qualify for and at what interest rate. They can also assist you with advice on improving your credit scores if need be to qualify for more programs or lower interest rate loans.
6. Time Restrictions
If you are currently in a lease you want to make sure you have enough time to buy a home before your lease is up for renewal for another year. It is very important that you work expeditiously with your Mortgage Broker and Realtor so as to be in a home in time when your lease is up. Some home buyers have had the misfortune of being out of the lease with no new home to move into. In those cases, they have had to move in with relatives or spend money living out of a hotel until settlement day on their home.
7. Your Job
Is the home close to your place of employment? Have you been working at your current job for a long enough period of time to sway lenders? These are both questions that you'll need to find answers to. In most cases as long as you have been in the same line of employment for 2 years then you will be fine as far as employment length. If you are a recently graduated college student who has secured a job offer. Job offer letters and college transcripts are generally enough for consideration for loan approval to buy a home.
If you're a handyman, Mr. (or Mrs.) fix it type, you may want to invest in a fixer-upper home in order to save a few pennies. Those who are less inclined in these matters will usually opt for a home in need of minimal repair. Is an FHA 203K rehab loan right for you?
9. Family Concerns
This is especially important for prospective homeowners who have elderly family members currently in their care or those who have school aged children at home. You'll want to make sure that the home is in close proximity to a great school, quality hospital, and any other necessary amenities. If you have a growing family you should consider buying a home that can keep up with your family’s likely growth.
10. Future Plans
The best time to buy a house is when you plan to put down roots and stay in the area for a bit. When you are experiencing job upheaval or personal tumult, this is not the time to be making any sort of rash decisions. Buying a home is a great accomplishment. In order to get it right, you should consider these 10 important things before taking the plunge into homeownership.
Our team of licensed Maryland Realtors and Mortgage Brokers here at Buy a New Home in Maryland are here to assist you in any way possible. Fill out the contact information form or give us a call at 443-605-5977 if you would like further assistance.
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