Have you thought about buying your own home for years now? Are you tired of dealing with landlords and property managers who are not nearly as concerned with maintaining their property as they are collecting their rent? These are the 5 Things to Start Doing NOW if You Want to Buy a House in Baldwin County in 2018!!
Make 2018 the year you finally get your piece of the rock and enjoy the American Dream!!
Being the owner of a home will be one of the most fulfilling endeavors many of us will pursue but there are a few things you are going to have to do to prepare yourself before you take that leap.
1) Make saving for your down-payment a NO-BRAINER
While there are many loan programs that can get you in a house with very low, to no down payment, having 20% down, if feasible, will save you a lot of money on the cost of your loan. 20% down on a $175,000 home is $35,000, a ton of cash for most people, and although this endeavor may seem daunting, it can be made simple by automatically withholding and depositing a portion of your paycheck in to a (down-payment fund) savings account that you have set aside for just this purpose.
EXTRA FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Get that car or student loan paid off and then redirect what used to be a normal month to month expense from the car loan or student loan company into your (down-payment fund) savings account. Because this money has been budgeted towards an expense for so long, you won’t even notice that it’s now getting you closer and closer to your dream home every month!
“Don’t save what is left after spending; spend what is left after saving.” –Warren Buffett
2) FIX YOUR CREDIT!!
If it isn’t obvious that a lender is going to want to see that you pay your bills on time and manage your debt responsibly, it should be. Credit card debt missed car loans and defaults on student loans can all damage your chances of being qualified for a loan.
Besides qualifying for a loan, a low credit score will affect the interest rate on your home loan. The difference in just a few percentage points equates to thousands of dollars over the course or your repayment as well as higher monthly payments.
EXTRA FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Never use more than 30% of your credit limit on your credit cards, automate car and student loan payments to ensure they are paid on time, and work down your total debt.
3) Learn to Live on a Budget!
Besides being an all-around good idea for financial health, learning to live on a budget is important for many reasons. We already talked about saving up for a down-payment. And although the month to month mortgage payment of your new home may even be cheaper than your former rent payment, there are other things to consider. As a lessee, home maintenance and repair was the responsibility of your landlord. As a homeowner, you are responsible. New heating and air units can cost as much as $5000, new appliances can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, and calling a repairman will always cost you money. You must budget for these uncertainties.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Home Depot offers classes periodically that educate you on the basics of home maintenance. That clogged toilet that a plumber will charge you $100 to fix can cost you next to nothing with a little education. Also, keep in mind that landscaping is YOUR responsibility now. Learn to use a mower, weed eater, and rake or be ready to shell out a couple hundred dollars a month for regular lawn care.
4) Begin to research the market you want to live in on your own!
While you should always go with a licensed Realtor when you decide to take the jump to home ownership, it is important for you to have an idea of what you can expect from your market before you begin. Which neighborhoods are near the schools you’d like your children to go to? How close are shopping and entertainment districts to the neighborhood you would like to live in? What is the average cost of a home in the such and such neighborhood?
It is important for a potential home buyer to have a good idea of what to expect before they jump into the home buying process. The more educated you are on the market, the better your chances of finding the home of your dreams!
Now that you have an understanding of a few things that you SHOULD do before you buy a home, tune in next week when we dive into ways to improve your credit….
Contact me NOW for more information on the 5 Things to Start Doing NOW if You Want to Buy a House in Baldwin County in 2018!!