Wednesday, November 19, 2014

First Time Financing: Real Estate Tips for Finding a Home

Very few purchases are as large and important as that of a home, and the first time you go through the financing process you'll be introduced to a variety of essential lending concepts. Gaining equity through home ownership is an essential way of building a healthy financial portfolio, and home ownership is also an emotionally rewarding experience. Consider the following tips when starting your search for your new home.

Search Tips for Your First Home


Finding a house to buy is quite a different search from finding apartments to rent, and you'll need to consider a wide array of amenities when searching for your first home. One of the most important differences is calculating how much of a mortgage payment you could handle with a home versus how much rent you could pay for an apartment.
You'll need to list your debts and income to determine the maximum payment you could afford while paying a mortgage. Most financial experts suggest paying no more than one-third of your income on rent, but that number may change for a mortgage. Remember that home ownership comes with costs that include:
  • Home owner's association (HOA) fees
  • Landscaping costs 
  • Mortgage insurance 
  • Property taxes 
  • Utilities 
  • Yearly maintenance
You'll need to add these additional costs into your estimated mortgage payment to get the most accurate picture of how much mortgage you can afford. Home ownership comes with some distinct benefits, but it's also a significant financial commitment.

Getting Financing Early in the Search


Getting a feel for the different types of homes available in the area you'd like to live takes time, and it's fine to perform some early searches before you're absolutely ready to start the search. However, once you're serious about buying a new home, your number one priority is obtaining financing.

Two terms you'll need to learn include "prequalified" and "preapproved". Each is useful, but only one will help you when it comes to making an offer on a new home. Getting prequalified is pretty simple, and all it takes is giving a bank your basic financial information to get an idea of how much mortgage you can afford. It's a helpful number, but it won't help you land the home of your dreams.

Preapproval, on the other hand, is a process that requires much more information be given to the bank in order to see if you have the creditworthiness to get mortgage approval. The reason getting preapproved is so important is because sellers like to see that you're serious about buying a home. Preapproval tells then that you're looking to buy and aren't just window shopping for a new home.

Preparing Financially and Domestically


Saving the down payment and making sure you have enough income to sustain a mortgage payment is important for buying a home. However, it's also important that you have savings above and beyond your down payment. Wall2Wall Media suggests you might want to have some domestic tasks taken care of like buying furniture and appliances for your new home first.

The reason you need some savings above and beyond what you'll spend to obtain your mortgage, is because there are always little things that go wrong or unexpected purchases that come along with buying a home. As long as you have a modest amount of savings to cover those costs, you won't have to deal with costly credit cards or loans to cover those last-minute expenses.

Additionally, purchasing essential appliances like a washer and dryer and the refrigerator in advance of your move-in date should help you avoid having to shop for these items at the last minute when it might be tempting to buy them with a credit card or make a hasty purchase without shopping around first.

The name of the game in getting financing for a home is preparing well in advance for each step. Don't rush into the process, and you'll be sure to get the home of your dreams, or that Apartment for rent in Liberty Village before you know it.


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