Buying a home is one of the most significant decisions you’ll encounter during your lifetime – you want to make sure everything goes according to plan. It might seem daunting especially if it’s your first time, but there’s no need to fret.
All you need to do to prepare is to simply find out more about the process, so you’ll know what to expect, which will allow you to make smarter, better decisions when searching for a new home.
If you’re planning to buy a home at Crestline, CA, here are a few helpful tips you should keep in mind:
Know more about the true cost of homeownership
There are many first-time homebuyers who aren’t fully aware of the all the costs that come with homeownership. The ones you might be familiar with are the upfront costs, which include the down payment, closing costs, and applicable taxes. You’ll have to take into account other ongoing costs such as insurance, mortgage payments, property taxes, utility costs, maintenance and repair fees, and others.
In short, you must be ready to accept that a significant portion of your income will go to costs related to homeownership.
Set a budget, know what you can afford
One of the key first steps to buying a home is to determine an ideal budget. A good strategy to use is to look for homes with prices that are roughly equivalent to about two to three times your annual income. For mortgages, payments should not go beyond 28% of your monthly income. Once you’ve determined a budget you’ll be able to work with, you can now save up for your new home’s down payment, which can cost about 5% to 20% of its price, depending on your credit history.
Buyers can get many benefits when they get pre-approved for a mortgage before shopping for a home. A mortgage pre-approval is a written assurance from a broker or lender that you are capable of borrowing money required to purchase a home for a set amount. Getting a mortgage pre-approval brings plenty of benefits: you’ll know how much you can realistically afford, help save you more time, add more clout to any offer you place, and help improve your negotiating power.
Create a house hunting list
Once your finances and mortgage options are in order, it’s time to begin your search. Start by making a list of all your requirements and preferences, and include important details such as home size, ideal location, and any special features you’re looking for.
Remember that your new home will affect your lifestyle and finances, so be sure to take your time and avoid making hasty decisions.
Collate all necessary documents
Don’t forget to keep track of all important documents, and try to put everything in a single place, so it’ll be easier to find them. If you have a pre-approval letter in hand, remember to take it with you when you go house hunting, as you’ll never know when you might decide to place an offer.