Are You Ready To Own A Home?
Owning a home may be your ultimate dream, but in order for the purchase to be the happy experience it's meant to be, you need to ensure that you are financially and mentally prepared for the responsibilities that come with it.
Some people believe home ownership is like renting, but with more options such as having pets and being able to paint the walls any color you want. However, while these privileges are available to homeowners in most places, they come with the responsibilities of a mortgage, taxes and home maintenance. Preparing for home ownership requires you to take a hard look at 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 have to go towards unexpected repairs and routine 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 learn that your salary won't allow you to purchase the home you want to own. However, sacrificing a large part of your income just to pay the mortgage can 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. In a rural area for example, it can buy a very comfortable residence with acreage. In an urban area, it may not even buy a 400 square foot condominium.
What do you want?
Do you like the idea of cleaning your own gutters? Do you cringe at the thought of lawn care? Would you rather pay a fee every month and have everything done for you? Would having limitations 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'? Answering these questions can help you narrow down the search for the property that is best for you.
We Can Help
You need a good agent who will work hard for you. Forever DFW Realty is dedicated to helping you find the right home, at the best price. We want you to find a home that is going to make you a happy homeowner.
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 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 it's important to keep your feelings in check. Keep a list close by of the features that you need and want in a home, and judge each home based on that list instead of by the 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 that will fit your needs.
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 avoid setting your heart on the home you hope to own until the offer is accepted. You'll probably have to write a deposit check 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 problems you weren't aware of. 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 walk through 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!