Did you make a resolution to make the leap from renter to home owner? It’s a big step, and a very exciting one. I’ve put together this guide to help you make the transition easier. Please don’t hesitate to call and ask questions, regardless of where you are in the process, I’m here to help you!
Buying a house is a big commitment, and you need to be sure you’re really ready. In order to qualify for a home loan, you need steady income and job stability. You will also need a down payment, ideally for 20% of the purchase price (although many programs take much less). You also want to be sure that you plan on living in your home for a few years so that you aren’t losing money by purchasing a home. There are also a lot of fees that come with home ownership that you need to keep in mind (HOA fees, yard work, pest control, etc.). In order to begin your home search, you need to consider all of these things in order to know what you can afford. Trulia’s mortgage calculator is a great tool to help you figure out how much you can afford. You can find it here: http://www.trulia.com/mortgages/. It’s also a good idea to talk to a lender, and get pre-qualified for your home loan, so, if you find the perfect home, you’re ready to put in an offer.
Once you’ve established a budget and gotten pre-qualified, the fun begins! I have compiled a great worksheet (see below) that helps you rate the importance of things like finishings, lot size and view. It’s also important to consider whether you’re interested in a fixer, or only a home that is turn key. Or if you’re only interested in certain neighborhoods. This will help both of us a great deal in your home search. (if a Google Doc is easier for you, follow this link to complete our the home buyer checklist: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1OhchcNflob_jo1ZykXrh43fM9RAYtEyKbiAZtp5qvGY/viewform). You can also find more information, including lenders I recommend, on my website: http://www.lynnbedford.com/resources.html.