Are You Ready To Buy Your First Home?
These questions are in no way everything you’ll need to consider when buying a property, but they will give you a solid starting point for your search. They’re also a great way to start a dialogue with your significant other, family, or potential roommates about what is most important in your next property, and what your goals are. If you have any questions feel free to contact us anytime! Happy hunting!
How long do you expect to live in the home?
Will this be a forever property or a stepping-stone on your path to financial success?
With question #1 in mind, how much home do you really need?
If you’re an individual, then maybe your purchase is a space just for you. If you’re a newlywed couple, make sure to account for your significant other, and quite possibly visiting family. For your forever home, make sure to additionally plan for room for kids, visiting family, and possibly dedicated spaces for entertainment, hobby interests, or work.
Is there an area of town that you prefer? Is distance from your job important? Are school districts a factor in your decision?
Condo vs. Single Family
The primary deciding factor when choosing a Single Family home vs. Condominium is a question of lifestyle. Are you willing and able to maintain a single family home, or would you prefer the ease of use and amenities of a condo? With a house, you own, and are responsible, for EVERYTHING. With a condo, you are only responsible for maintaining the interior and systems (electrical, plumbing and HVAC). Home Owner’s Association (HOA) fees cover everything else to include: the building exterior, roof, grounds keeping, streets, trash, community amenities (pool, tennis courts, clubhouse, etc.) and foundations.
What is my budget?
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recommends that you spend no more than one third of your annual gross (pre-tax) income on housing. This is why many apartment complexes require that you make 3 times the monthly rent in income. You can use our mortgage calculator to see what you can afford! I personally recommend that you put a 20% down payment on a property, if you have the financial means. Not only does this lower your monthly payments, it provides you with a better looking offer once you find a property, and gives you instant equity should you ever need to borrow against your home.