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. It’s about knowing and planning that part of your income and time will go towards maintaining and repairing and possibly improving your home. It's all about being willing and able to take the risks of home ownership with a realistic expectation of the rewards.
How much can you afford?
As a first time home buyer, it can be discouraging to find that your income 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. It's better to buy a modest home now and then plan on 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.
First Time Home Buying Services
Some people believe that home ownership is like renting, but with the power to have pets, play music whenever and paint the walls whatever color you like. However, while these privileges are available to homeowners, they come with the responsibilities of a mortgage, taxes and home maintenance. Preparing for home ownership requires you to take a critical look and awareness of your finances and your expectations.
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 proud to own real estate.
When you hire us to help you buy your first home, we want 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 be thrilled to own.
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 your agent, you can go over the pros and cons of each home. We can help you stay on track while still keeping our eyes out for a great property. We will recommend that you look at each place like a body. “Skin” are things that can change – paint color, flooring styles, countertops, etc. “Bones” are structural things that cannot be changed unless you’re planning and saving for a large remodel.
Make the offer. This can be a confusing maze. We’re trained to prepare the paperwork and go through it with you before submitting it. Remember, the seller may reject or counter your offer, so try avoid setting your heart on the home you hope to own. You'll need to write an earnest money deposit check to the seller's broker or Title company that proves the seriousness of your offer.
Get all necessary inspections done. A home inspector will check for problems that are readily evident. They’ll check the function of the appliances and major systems. 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 is not an option! For your protection and peace of mind an inspection 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. Part of our services is 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!