Home Buying: The Adventure

The first initial step when it comes to purchasing a home is to simply understand your need to buy a home – why do you want to buy a home? Your answer to that specific question will help you to learn something about your needs, such as space requirements or the number of rooms you may need. Over all, you need to be able to fully analyze the reason behind why you are wanting to put out the expense of purchasing the home, moving, and the problems that can be solved with such a purchase. Following are some great questions to ask yourself:

  1. Where do you want to live?
  2. What characteristics do you want in a home?
  3. What activities will you be able to do?

Once who have answered those questions, and the answers are to your liking, it is then time to move forward on the grand adventure of home buying. Here are ten tips to assist you with the home buying process:

  1. Be picky, but don’t be unrealistic
  2. Do your homework before you start looking
  3. Get your finances in order
  4. Don’t wait to get a loan
  5. Don’t ask too many people for their opinions
  6. Decide when you are able to move
  7. Think long-term
  8. Don’t let yourself become house poor
  9. Do not be naïve
  10. Get help

Not only can the home buying process be exciting, it can also be very intimidating as well – with this being one of the largest investments you will possibly ever make. You need to decide how much home you can afford, you need to develop a wish list of what you’d like your home to have, you should select three or four neighborhoods you’d like to live in, you need to determine if you have enough saved to cover the down payment and closing costs, you need to get your credit in order, you need to determine how large of a mortgage you can qualify for, you should organize all documentation a lender will need to preapprove you for a loan, you should do some research to determine if you qualify for any special mortgage or down payment assistance programs, you should calculate the costs of home ownership (including property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and association fees – if applicable), you should find an experienced agent who can help your through the process.

Before buying a home, though, it is important to consider your finances. There are many financial factors to consider when you become a home owner. Some are significant to a lender (employment history, down payment amount, gross income versus debts, and credit history), but it is important to look past that mortgage and at the whole picture. Outside of the mortgage, you will still have your monthly obligations to meet – monthly payment of principal, interest, homeowner’s insurance, and property taxes; home operating expenses; transportation costs; revolving credit card accounts; other monthly costs (for example student loan, car payments, electronics, phones); and savings and retirement (401ks, investments, savings).

It all seems pretty intimidating, but it is very much achievable. Here are eight steps to help you get those wayward finances in order:

  1. Develop a family budget
  2. Reduce your debt
  3. Get a handle on expenses
  4. Increase income
  5. Save for a down payment
  6. Create a house fund
  7. Keep you job
  8. Establish a good credit history