First Time Home Buyer
Are You Ready For Home Ownership?
Owning a home may be your dream, but in order for the purchase to be the happy and satisfying experience it was meant to be, you need to ensure that you are financially and mentally prepared for the responsibilities that come with it.
Some people have a notion that home ownership is like renting, but with the power to have pets and paint the walls whatever color you like. However, while these privileges are available to homeowners in most municipalities, they come with the responsibilities of a mortgage, taxes and home maintenance. 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?
It can be discouraging to find that your salary 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 rather than a point of pride. It's better to buy a modest home now and look at 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. Areas further away from the city, the country for example, you can buy a very comfortable residence and ample acreage. In highly sought-after areas, such as Alexandria, Arlington, Reston, or Tyson's Corner for example, you trade proximity for size.
What do you want?
Do you like hate 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.
Your At Home Team Can Help
You need a good agent, David and Sallie, who will work hard for you. Your At Home 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 successful in real estate ownership.
When you hire us to help you buy your first home, the first step is know what type of property you want and how much you can afford. Then we'll find a way to merge these two priorities and find a 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.
Make the offer. This can be a maze of "buyer", "seller", "subsidy", "deposit", and "completion". Our job as your REALTOR® is to represent you and make certain your offer is the best it can possibly be.
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 several hundred dollars, but again, this is more than worth it in the end....you are making a huge investment and you want to make an educated decision.
The Final walk through is done prior to settlement. This is the time you can validate the property is in the condition as stated in your contract.
From the first interview that determines your requirements to the moment that you receive the keys, David and Sallie 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!
Your At Home Team
With the David and Sallie behind you, the outcome is certain to be successful! Contact Your At Home Team for more information about first time home purchasing and to being looking for your new home now. To schedule an appointment or talk to us directly, call 703.286.1333 today!