Are You Ready For Home Ownership?
Owning a home is a dream of many, and in Oklahoma, buying a home can actually end up having your overall cost of living be less than if you were renting, but without budgeting for home ownership, it can turn out being a negative experience. There are a number of factors to consider when you are thinking about buying a home, and those include how long you are going to be living in the home, what kind of home you would be looking for (including amenities, and location), how much your budget would be comfortable with spending on a monthly basis, and, of course, how you will be financing the purchase.
Buying a newer home will allow you to have more peace of mind that there won't as many additional repairs, however, many of the newer homes lack the charm that an older home would bring, either in the house itself or in the neighborhood it is in. If it is the charm of an older or historical home that you are looking for then you might want to consider having a little bit of a buffer for incidental repairs or consider buying a Home Warranty.
Homeownership is a terribly important part of wealth building, but it is also one of the largest purchases that someone will make in their lifetimes -- that is why you need a good real estate agent to help you keep things on track and help you navigate the home purchase process.
Questions for Prospective Homeowners
Are you ready to buy?
Owning your own home is about more than just being able to decorate any way you like; it's about being prepared to maintain your home over the years, realizing that part of your income and time will go towards repairs and maintenance. It's about being willing to take the risks of home ownership with a realistic expectation of the rewards.
How much can you afford?
Do you want that mansion in the center of town but the bank points you towards the bungalow in the burbs? It can be discouraging to find that your salary won't stretch as far as the home you want to own. Sacrificing all of your income just to have a roof over your head (regardless of how pretty that roof might be) is a way to quickly make homeownership a burden. Lenders have pushed back pretty hard on the qualification amounts, but regardless of how much a lender says that you coule pay, you will need to make sure that you pre-qualify yourself! You are going to know your budget, not your lender. When you are doing your budget, also factor in how much you are going to be spending on gas to really see whether it would be better ot buy the more expensive house in the city or the less expensive house that is farther away.
What is your debt-to-income ratio?
This is something that the lenders and banks are taking more and more seriously of late. Most lenders don't want the debt to income ratio to exceed 36-40%. This means that if you make $5,000 per month, adding up all of your minimum payments on credit cards, cars, wedding rings, etc... plus the estimated house payment couldn't exceed $2,000 ($5,000 * 40%). Under special circumstances some lenders are willing to go as high as 50% debt-to-income, but again, make sure that you pre-approve yourself!
What do you want?
Do you relish the idea of mowing your lawn or would you prefer the natural look of your tree-covered acreage? Does the idea of thinking about landscaping make you scream with terror or squeal with delight? Different houses are going to have different amenities and offerings. Some Home Owners Associations have strict covenants that help keep a certain uniformity to the neighborhood, while others have few to none. Let me know what it is that you are looking for and I can point you in the right direction!
We Can Help
You need a good agent who will work hard for you. Our real estate team is dedicated to helping you find the right home, at the best price. We want you to find the home that will make you happy and successful in real estate ownership.
When you work with us to help you buy your first home, we will ask you lots of questions to find out what it is that you are looking for and how much you can and want to afford. We will then find a way to merge your needs with your wants and give you some options you will be proud of!
Keep your objectives in mind when touring homes. Sometimes the idea of owning a home can be overwhelming and you can easily lose focus on what it is that you are actually looking for. Make a list of the features that you are looking for in your future home and make notes after seeing each property to make sure that you remain focused. When we are together we can go over the pros and the cons of each home based on what your needs are and make sure that you get the best combination of them met.
Make the offer. This can be a maze of "buyer", "seller", "chattels", "deposit", and "completion". We'll be happy to prepare the paperwork and go through it with you before submitting it. Remember, the seller may reject or counter your offer, so even at this late date, avoid setting your heart on the home you hope to own. You'll probably have to write a deposit check to the seller's broker that proves the seriousness of your offer.
Get all necessary inspections done. A home inspector will check for signs of harmful materials like asbestos, lead paint and mold. They'll also check for evidence of pests, faulty wiring and leaks. This is a crucial part of the home purchase. Not getting an inspection done means that you could be stuck in a home with a bad case of black mold and no recourse other than to pay for its removal. Inspections will cost a few hundred dollars, but again, this is more than worth it in the end. There are several inspectors in the area that we'd be happy to recommend.
Do a final walkthrough before closing the deal. We'd be happy to do this with you to make sure that everything agreed upon is completed prior to the final signing.
From the first interview that determines your requirements to the moment that you receive the keys, we can help you with the complicated process of buying a home. Don't hesitate to contact us to find out more about how we can make the home buying process easier!
Contact us for more information about first time home purchasing.