Are you ready to embark on the journey toward home ownership? We are ready to be your guide! Buying a home should be an exciting, positive experience, and we are here to make sure you are financially and mentally prepared for the process. 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 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?
Understanding your budget and being realistic about what you can afford is one of the biggest and most important steps to becoming a homeowner. We can help you get an idea of what that looks like for you, and what your budget can do. Staying in budget means you can enjoy home ownership and have the ability to afford the mortgage, as well as maintenance and future improvements that can help you get the most out of your investment.
What is your debt-to-income ratio?
Debt-to-income ratio is the percentage of your debt to your annual income. Your overall debt should not be more than 40% of your income, and your housing debt should not be more than 32%. This is something that lenders take very seriously. What 32% of your income will buy depends on where you want to live and what the market is doing in that area.
What do you want?
Do you want a big yard, or would you prefer something small and easy to manage? Fixer-upper or turnkey? What level of privacy do you want from your neighbors? Peace and quiet or middle of the action? Taking time on the front end of your search to decide what’s important to you and what fits into your lifestyle can help save you time in your search. Together we can talk through what you want, so we can focus in on options that make sense to you.
THE HOMEBUYING PROCESS: A QUICK OVERVIEW
There are many steps to buying a home, but an agent can streamline it for you so you don’t get overwhelmed. Buying a home should be exciting, and we help guide you through the process. Here’s a simple overview of the process.
- Get an agent When you start with an agent, you can be certain you’re getting the guidance and access to properties from day one – so you don’t waste your time or money – or miss out on the perfect house! Our agents help you understand your budget and educate you about the market so you can make smart decisions.
- Get a real estate lawyer When closing, a real estate lawyer is there to ensure the transferring of land ownership goes smoothly, and can mitigate an unforeseen issues that may arise, like a lien or missing paperwork. When you work with us, we connect you to real estate lawyers we know and trust. Typically, the cost of services is packaged with your closing costs.
- Decide your wants vs. needs Buying a home can be an emotional process, and it’s easy to lose sight of what truly matters and makes sense for your day to day living. We recommend making a list of features that you need vs. want. When viewing homes, it can help you compare in an organized way, so you can have clarity on deciding the right home for you.
- Make the offer. When you’re ready, we handle preparing the paperwork it takes to make an offer. This can be a maze of “buyer”, “seller”, “chattels”, “deposit”, and “completion” but we go through it with you before submitting it. The seller may reject or counter your offer, and in certain scenarios, you may write a deposit check to the seller’s broker to prove you are a serious buyer. No matter the situation, we are there at every step to help you navigate your next move.
- 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. We have several home inspectors we know and trust, and can be present for the inspection.
- Do a final walkthrough Before your closing date, you can do a final walkthrough to ensure any and all updates or repairs have been done. If they haven’t, this is your last chance to work with the seller to ensure things are done. We can do your final walkthrough with you, so you have another set of eyes and feel confident about your new home on closing day.
- Enjoy your new home! 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!