Things to Consider Before Buying a Home

At Chris Doering Mortgage, we are here to help the families of North Central Florida, get into their first home, their next home, or the home of their dreams. We love helping people in all positions of home ownership, but we know that people who are considering buying their first home need particularly considerate attention. Buying your first home is a big deal: it is a very exciting step, but it should not be taken lightly. The process of buying a home brings with it a lot of things to consider, and that is why Chris Doering Mortgage is here to help first time home buyers be aware of these things. The lists we have supplied here lay out many of the things that first time home buyers should think about before they buy, and we hope that it is a big help to you.

Things to Consider Before You Decide to Buy

Because buying a home is not a simple, effortless procedure, potential first time home buyers would be wise to determine what they hope to accomplish in the future and how buying a home may help or hinder those plans. Homeownership is usually a long-term deal — experts recommend staying in your home for at least five years — and therefore, you should establish your long-term goals before you venture into it. Whether you are hoping to put your monthly payments toward something tangible or desiring to confirm your independence, looking at the big picture of your life and whether or not it should involve homeownership is very important. In order to finalize your long-term goals and the potential of homeownership being a part of them, Investopedia challenges first time home buyers to take the time to answer the following questions:

  • What kind of home will meet your needs? 
    • As we are sure you are aware, there are many different options for residential properties to purchase, and each option has its own set of pros and cons. Positioning yourself in the place where you can reach your goals may mean moving into a condo, townhouse, single-family home, or multi-family building, or you could try the fixer-upper version of any of these things. No matter what type of home you choose, be sure that it will be the where you want to be in the future.
  • What specific features would you like your ideal home to have? 
    • As buying a home will probably be the biggest purchase of your life, you really should try to ensure that the home you purchase will meet both your needs and your wants as well as possible. Include every basic detail and little desire on the list in order to be sure that buying your dream home is a good idea right now.
  • For how much mortgage do you qualify? 
    • A best practice of home buying is to discover how much lenders are willing to give you to buy your home. Know that your monthly income, amount of debt, and time span of your current job will all factor into the size of the loan you may receive.
  • How much house can you afford?
    • You might find yourself in the situation in which a bank offers to loan you more money than you may really want to spend on a house. If so, you must pay attention to the house’s total cost along with these other unavoidable expenses:
      • The monthly payment
      • The size of the down payment you can make
      • The property taxes in your chosen neighborhood
      • The insurance costs
      • The costs of maintaining or improving the house
      • The closing costs
  • How are you going to find a home? 
    • To navigate through the search process, will you be relying on personal research or on a real estate agent? Real estate agents are an invaluable source of knowledge and expertise that can protect you from many major pitfalls into which you may otherwise fall. Therefore, it is best to decide right away if you will be working with a real estate agent.

Things to Consider When You Decide to Buy

The best reason to buy a home is because you actually want to be a homeowner. If the task of answering these questions has revealed that you do in fact want to move on from renting and really buy a home, then there are just a few more facts you need to know in order to verify that you are able to buy and in order to enable you to act on your decision. When you decide to buy, be sure that you understand these things:

  • How Mortgage Rates Work:
    • As so many people take out a mortgage in order to buy their homes, first time home buyers should know:
      • The basics of mortgage rates
      • The differences between fixed and adjustable mortgage rates
      • The definition and usage of mortgage points
      • The current mortgage rates
      • The lenders’ estimates of your rates and costs
  • How to Get Good Credit:
    • To buy a home with a spouse or partner and qualify for the mortgage together, both buyers will need great credit. Therefore, check your credit score and do everything you can to improve it if necessary. If one buyer is plagued with poor credit, they might not make it onto the loan as a borrower, and if that is the case, the borrower that is able to sign will have to have enough income and assets to qualify alone, which may be more impossible than just improving your credit.
  • How to Afford the Down Payment:
    • With today’s credit market pretty much demanding a down payment of 20% of the cost of your home, you will certainly need to save up that amount to get into your home, but that is not all. First time home buyers should also stash away the cash they need to account for closing costs, insurance, taxes, repairs, and furnishings. Therefore, you should not plan on spending all of your money on the down payment because these additional purchases will definitely increase your savings minimum.
  • How to Afford the Monthly Payment:
    • Many additional charges make a monthly home payment much different than a monthly rent payment. In order to be sure that you can afford monthly payments on a house, you make not forget:
      • Property taxes
      • Homeowner’s association fees
      • Insurance
      • City assessments
      • Water, sewer, garbage, and other utilities your landlord may cover
  • How To Fix a Leak:
    • As a homeowner, you will have to fix all of your problems on your own. Rather than being able to pass issues off to a landlord or an apartment office, your options will be to either fix the problems yourself or pay someone else to fix them. If you are currently equipped with fixing abilities, you are halfway there, but you should also know that the cost of materials can still form a sizable dent in your savings. So, in order to be a homeowner, you have to be prepared financially and psychologically for whatever may happen with your home.

The Thing to Do When You Decide to Shop

If homeownership aligns with your long-term goals, and your solid understanding of everything that homeownership involves proves that you are ready to buy, then Chris Doering Mortgage would like to congratulate you on your status as a first time home buyer! Buying a home is a noble investment, and we wish you the best as you continue to move through the process. As a reminder, one very smart move to make when buying a home is to secure a mortgage pre approval before you shop for a house, and Chris Doering Mortgage would love to apply our expertise to help you do just that. To find out how Chris Doering Mortgage can assist first time home buyers in the Gainesville area in obtaining a home, contact us today!