Home Buyer's Guide
Owning a home for lifestyle and investment is a valuable pursuit, and the process of choosing and purchasing a property can be a satisfying experience if you are financially and mentally prepared for the responsibilities that come with it. Preparing for home ownership requires you to take critical stock of your finances and your expectations.
Questions for Prospective Homeowners
Are you ready to buy?
Owning your own home is about being prepared to maintain your property 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?
It can be discouraging to find that your salary won't stretch as far as the home you want to own. However, sacrificing a huge part of your income just to pay the mortgage can very quickly make home ownership a burden rather than a point of pride. It's better to buy a modest home now and look at purchasing your "dream home" in a few years.
What is your debt-to-income ratio?
This is something that lenders take very seriously. Your overall debt should not be more than 40% of your income, and your housing debt should not be more than 32%. What 32% of your income will buy depends on where you want to live.
What do you want?
Do you like the idea of cleaning your own gutters? Do you shudder at the thought of lawn care? Would you rather just pay a fee every month and have everything done for you? Would obeying rules about when you can have your garbage cans out bother you, or do you want to live in a neighborhood where everything is 'just so'? The answers to these questions can help you narrow down the search for the right type of property for you.
I Can Help
You need a real estate agent who will work hard for you. I am dedicated to helping you find the right home, at the best price, and want you to find the home that will make you happy and successful in real estate ownership.
I will need to know what you want and how much you can afford. Then we'll find a way to merge these two priorities and find a residence that you'll enjoy owning.
Keep your objectives in mind when visiting a home. Sometimes the idea of owning a home can overwhelm your practical sense, so keep your feelings in check. Keep a list handy of the features that you need and want in a home, and judge each home by the list instead of by details that could distract you from your goal. When you're alone with an agent, you can go over the pros and cons of each home. I can help you stay on track while still keeping our eyes out for a great property.
Engage the services of a good real estate lawyer. We can recommend several lawyers in the area who might be a good fit for you. Interview them to ensure that you get someone you can work with. The legalities of transferring land ownership can be complicated, and a lawyer can be your best defense against future legal troubles. A good lawyer can charge several hundred to over a thousand dollars for their services, but is a worthwhile insurance against future challenges.
Make the offer. This can be a maze of "buyer", "seller", "chattels", "deposit", and "completion". I will manage all the negotiations and prepare all the documentation required to make an offer and manage it to completion of a deal. Remember, the seller may counter your offer, so be prepared for challenges and new information. Remember that an offer to purchase represents a binding commitment, subject to certain conditions.
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. Inspections will cost a few hundred dollars, but again, this is an important insurance against future challenges. We will recommend only the most trusted and thorough inspectors in the region.
Do a final walkthrough before closing the deal. I will 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, I can help you with the complicated process of buying a home. Don't hesitate to contact me to find out more about how I can support you in purchasing the best property.
Contact me for more information about first time home purchasing.