First Time Home Buyer

Is Home Ownership Right for You?

The idea of home ownership is a dream for many, but in order for the experience to be positive both during and after the purchase, the buyer should ensure that they are financially and mentally prepared for the responsibilities that come after the signature.

Some individuals may liken home ownership to renting, but with the power to have pets and make decisions regarding the color of the walls. However, these homeowners privileges come with the responsibilities of paying for a mortgage, taxes, and repairs / maintenance. Without a doubt, home ownership requires a critical review and balance of both your finances and your expectations.

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Prospective Homeowner Questionnaire

Are you ready to buy?

Owning a home means that you need to be financially prepared to maintain your home over the years, and realize that part of your income and time will go towards repairs and maintenance. A homeowner must understand both the risks and rewards of home ownership.

How much house can you afford?

Being realistic and understanding how far you can comfortably stretch your salary will make home ownership more enjoyable in the long-term. Sacrificing a large percentage of your income to make monthly mortgage payments can quickly lead to a stressful burden rather than a point of pride.

What is your debt-to-income ratio?

The debt-to-income ratio is taken very seriously by lenders. Typically, we look to have an overall debt to income ratio of less than 40% with the housing portion not constituting more than 32%. Moreover, the amount of house that 32% of your income will buy depends on many factors, including location. Rural or downtrodden areas can fetch more “bang for the buck” whereas highly sought-after urban areas may afford little more than a small condo type arrangement.

I Can Help

You need a qualified agent who will work hard for you. My job is to help you find the right home, at the best price. A successful transaction means a home that will make you happy in the long-term.

As your agent, I will help you find the balance between what you want and how much you can afford – and translate that into a new home 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 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.

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 dodgy, 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 the thousands of dollars saved in legal fees later on makes this a good expense.

Make the offer. This can be a maze of “buyer”, “seller”, “chattels”, “deposit”, and “completion”. We’ll be happy to prepare the paperwork and go through it with you before submitting it. Remember, the seller may reject or counter your offer, so even at this late date, avoid setting your heart on the home you hope to own. You’ll probably have to write a deposit check to the seller’s broker that proves the seriousness of your offer.

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. There are several inspectors in the area that we’d be happy to recommend.

Do a final walkthrough before closing the deal. We’d 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, 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!

Contact me for more information about your first home purchase!

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