By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Here’s an overview of what’s involved and things to consider before making such a large commitment and investment. Owning a home is money-dependent meaning how much money you have in the bank or investments for a down payment, and your monthly income to pay for mortgage payments and expenses. Talk to bankers, realtors and mortgage loan officers and use online calculators to learn the options you may have. When you have your finances in order get a preapproved mortgage so you know what you can spend on a house including the expenses. Below is a list of online resources to get started.
Lending Tree Home Affordability Calculator Affordability Calculator
Lending Tree Mortgage Payment Calculator Mortgage Calculator
Bankrate How Much House Can I Afford? How Much House Can I Afford?
Bankrate Mortgage Calculator Mortgage Calculator
Shop around for a realtor first online at Find a Realtor and then in person. You can learn a lot at real estate listing sites like Trulia and Zillow about prices, square footage, taxes, comparable property and value and see pictures of the house inside and out. But until you drive through a neighborhood and see it firsthand you can’t get a feel for it. Check out the school district (for kids), public transportation for proximity to work, and notice the condition of neighboring houses.
When you find a house you want, submit a reasonable offer through the realtor and hope it’s accepted. A buyer’s market usually means there’s an oversupply of houses for sale and you have leverage to negotiate a price; but a seller’s market put them in a position to hold out for their price. When they can many buyers wait to buy when it’s to their advantage, not the seller’s.
When a buyer’s offer is accepted and the transaction is under contract three things happen. The buyer has the property inspected American Society of Home Inspectors and appraised AppraiserUSA and waits for a final mortgage approval.
Prepare for an inspection of your property by making it accessible, declutter and have keys for any place that is locked like a storage shed. And be there for the inspection so you understand what items go on the report and so you can answer or ask any questions.
To learn more about different types of loans go to The Simple Dollar, a website about personal finances.
There a lot of paper work as the process winds down and it can be stressful when forms are misfiled or lost and scheduling can be an issue, but when you’re handed the keys to your new home it’s the beginning of a new adventure of owning a home.
For help with moving use these two useful tools: a moving cost calculator Moving Cost Calculator and a packing calculator Packing Cost Calculator.
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