If you’re thinking of buying a home, you’ve come to the right place. This web site can turn you into a house-hunting master. But before we jump right in, you have to make sure three things are ready: you, your bank account, and the real estate market.
Are you ready?
Be sure. Few joys can match the pride of owning the roof over your head, but you will have to make some sacrifices. There’s the obvious financial responsibility, but your home will also require constant care. That’s what real pride of ownership is all about.
Is your bank account ready? Check it twice.
Your first home will be the biggest financial obligation youve ever faced. You should ideally have saved up some money for a down payment and are managing any debts like student loans or credit cards. In a couple steps you can determine how much you can afford.
Is right now a good time to buy?
Markets go up, markets go down and even the smartest experts can’t accurately predict when a market will peak or bottom out. If you’re buying a home as a long-term investment (and for long-term enjoyment), you should be protected from short-term changes in the market. Pick a home that meets the needs of you and your family. Then you’ll enjoy living in your investment as it grows in value.
The condo alternative How Condos are owned You’ll own 100% of your unit, and a share of the common areas. Common areas include the necessary plumbing, electrical systems, hallways and elevators. They may also include lots of fun stuff like a private gym or party room. Condo fees. Membership has privileges and costs On top of your mortgage and property taxes, condo owners also pay a monthly fee to operate and maintain the common areas. Be sure to look into condo fees, and how well they’re managed, before signing anything. New or resale? Resale. Previously loved Nothing can match the charm and character of an older home. As a bonus, the previous owner may have made improvements and upgrades and you get them with the house, usually for less than the cost of putting them in yourself. However, some may have a little too much ‘character’, like a leaky roof. Know what you’re getting into. Ahh… that new house smell If you’re having a new home built from the bottom up, carefully examine the property, the blueprints and visit other homes built by the same company. Have your REALTOR® and/or lawyer review everything before you sign. While your home is being built, stay on top of the process. And remember, you have a legal right to make a full inspection of the house before you accept it as complete. You know what you want, but let’s talk needs
Are you getting out of a two-bedroom apartment because it’s too small? Then your new home should have at least three bedrooms, and probably a second bathroom. REALTORS® call these must-have features “needs”. Features you’d like to have are called “wants”. Your strategy should be to find a home within your price range that fulfills all or most of your ‘needs’, and as many of your ‘wants’ as possible. To help you with this, we’ve supplied you with your very own Dream Home Checklist. Download it here