Owning a home may be your dream, but in order for the purchase to be the happy and satisfying experience it was meant to be, you need to ensure that you are financially and intellectually prepared for the responsibilities that come with it.
Some individuals have the notion that home ownership is like renting, except with the power to have pets and paint the walls whatever color you like. However, while these privileges are available to homeowners in most municipalities, they come with the responsibilities of a mortgage, taxes and home maintenance. Preparing for home ownership requires you to take critical stock of your finances and your expectations.
Owning your own home is about more than just being able to decorate any way you like; it is about being prepared to maintain your home over the years, realizing that part of your income and time will go toward repairs and 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 discover that your salary will not go as far as the home you want to invest in and own. However, sacrificing a disproportionate part of your income just to pay the mortgage will quickly make home ownership a burden rather than a point of pride. It can be 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 look at closely. 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 rural areas for example, it can buy a very comfortable residence and ample acreage. In highly sought-after urban areas, however, it may not even buy an 800 square foot bachelor/bachelorette suite.
What do you want?
Do you like the idea of cleaning your own gutters? Do you shudder at the thought of lawn care? Would you rather just pay a fee every month and have everything done for you? Would obeying rules aboutwhenyou can have your garbage cans out bother you, or do you want to live in a neighborhood where everything is 'just so'? The answers to these questions can help you narrow down the search for the right type of property for you.
We Can Help
You need a professional agent who will work hard for you. Our real estate team is dedicated to helping you find the right home, at the best price. We want to find the home that will make you happy and fulfill your goals of home ownership.
When you hire the Berg Larsen Group to help you buy your first home, we would like to know what you desire in a home and how much you can afford. Then we find a way to merge these two objectives and find a residence that you will enjoy owning for years to come. We match homes with lifestyles...from generation to generation.
Keep your objectives in mind when visiting a home. Sometimes the idea of owning a home can overwhelm your practical sense, so keep your feelings in check. Keep a list handy of the features that youneedandwantin a home, and judge each home by the list instead of by details that could distract you from your goal. When you are alone with your realtor, you can go over the pros and cons of each home. Our years of experience and Twin Cities market knowledge help you stay on track while keeping our eyes on the goal, a great property for you.
Make the offer. Our knowledgeable team will guide you through the process of submitting an offer. This is likely to include helping you obtain pre-approval for a mortgage and also includes writing an earnest money check to the seller's broker 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, as well as evidence of pests, faulty wiring and leaks. This is a crucial part of the home purchase. The inspector is knowledgeable as to what is expected for the age of the home and what may be problematic of a larger issue.Nothaving an inspection means you could be stuck in a home with a problem and no recourse other than to pay for its repair. Although inspections will cost several hundred dollars, they are more than worth it in the end. We would be happy to recommend a reputable and seasoned inspector.
Do a final walkthrough before closing the transaction. We are happy to do this with you to ensure that everything agreed upon is completed prior to the final signing and closing of the sale.
From the first interview that determines the requirements of your dream home to the moment that you receive the keys, we can help you with the exciting yet complex process of buying a home. Do not hesitate to contact us to find out more about how we can make the home buying process easier!