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Are You Ready For Home Ownership?

Owning a home may be your dream, but in order for the purchasing process to be the enjoyable and satisfying experience it should be, you need to be sure that you are financially and mentally ready for the responsibilities that come with home ownership.

Some people have the idea that home ownership is similar to renting, but with the ability to have pets and paint the walls whatever color you like, whenever you want. However, home ownership comes with the added responsibilities of having a mortgage, paying the taxes and home maintenance. Preparing yourself for home ownership requires you to take critical stock of where you are financially and what your expectations are.

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Questions for Prospective Homeowners to Review:

Are you ready to buy a home?

Owning your own home is about more than just being able to decorate how you would like; it's also about being prepared to maintain your home over the years, realizing that a portion of your income and your time will have to go towards repairs and maintenance. It's also about being willing to take the risks along with a realistic expectation of the rewards of home ownership.

Do you know how much can you afford?

It can be discouraging to find that your salary doesn't qualify you for as much home as you may want to own. However, paying a significant part of your income just to cover a mortgage payment can very quickly result in having home ownership become a burden rather than a point of pride and the security you were looking for. It's better to buy a modest home now that fits your budget and look at purchasing your "dream home" in a few short years.  Many first time home buyers move within five years of purchasing their first home.  Remember, your first home is a wonderful opportunity. We highly recommend that you meet with a mortgage lender to get pre-approved, so that you know exactly how much you can afford.

Do you know your debt-to-income ratio?

This is something that mortgage lenders will 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 that 32% of your income will buy partially depends on where you want to live. In rural areas, for example, it may buy a very comfortable residence with ample acreage. However, in a highly sought-after area, it may not even buy a 1,000 square foot home.

Have you decided what you want?

How do you feel about cleaning your own gutters? Do you shun the thought of having to do lawn care? Or would you prefer to just pay a fee every month and have everything done for you? Would obeying rules about how high of a fence you can and must have bother you, or do you want to live in a neighborhood where everything is 'just so'? Answering these questions can help you narrow down the search for the type of property that is just right for you.

We Can Help You

You need a good Realtor® who will work hard for you - and that's exactly what we'll do. Our dedicated real estate team will help you find the right home at the best price. We'll help you to find the home that fits your personal lifestyle, will make you happy, and will help you to be successful in real estate ownership.

When you hire us to help you buy your first home, we want to know what you want and how much you can afford. Again, we highly recommend that you meet with a mortgage lender to get pre-approved.  Then we'll find a way to merge these two priorities and help you find a home that you'll enjoy.

Keep your priorities in mind when visiting a home. Sometimes the idea of owning a home can overwhelm your practical sense, so remember to keep your feelings in check. Have 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 focused on your priorities while still keeping our eyes out for a great property.

Employ 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 several to ensure that you get someone you can work well with. The legalities of transferring land ownership can be complex, and a lawyer can be your best defense against future legal troubles. A good lawyer could charge several hundred to over a thousand dollars for their services; but the thousands of dollars saved in legal fees later on make this a worthwhile expense.

Make an offer. This can be a maze of "buyer", "seller", "contingency", and other real estate terms . 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 point, avoid setting your heart on the home you hope to own. You'll probably want to include "ernest money" that proves the seriousness and sincerity of your offer.

Schedule necessary inspections. 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 critical part of the home purchase process. Not having an inspection done means that you could possibly be stuck in a home with problems that could have been fixed prior to purchase and no recourse other than to pay for it later. Inspections can 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 to you.  Feel free to call several to find out specifically what their services cover and their prices are.

Do a final walk through prior to closing. We'd be happy to do this with you to make sure that everything that was agreed upon is completed prior to the final signing.

From the first meeting with us that determines your requirements -  to the magical moment that you receive the keys to your new home, we will help walk you through the complicated process of buying a home. Click the "Contact us" button below to find out how we can make the home buying process easier for YOU!

Contact us now for more information about first time home purchasing.