Whether you are a first time or experienced home buyer, there are a few steps you can take when you are ready to take the plunge into homeownership.
- Check the selling prices of comparable homes in your target area.
- See what you can afford and get pre-qualified. To get an idea of the maximum you should spend, we have a home affordability calculator.
- Calculate your total monthly housing costs, including taxes and insurance. To get an idea of what you’ll pay for insurance, choose a property in your desired area and reach out to a local insurance agent for a price estimate. You won’t have an obligation to purchase a policy though them, but you will then have a good idea of what you would pay if you bought in that target area.
- Find out what your closing costs will be. They can include items such as origination fees charged by the lender, title and settlement fees, taxes, and often prepaid items such as homeowners insurance or association fees.
- Look at your budget and determine how a house fits into it. Fannie Mae recommends that buyers spend no more than 28% of their income on housing costs. Go much past 30% and you risk becoming house poor.
- Talk to your agent about the real estate climate in your area. Are prices up/down, expected to rise/fall?
- Consider the big picture. While buying a property is a great way to build wealth, maintaining your investment can require time, labor and money. When unexpected costs arise, and there is no landlord to turn to, these costs can add up. So consider whether you are ready for the expense and effort of homeownership before you buy.
So when you are ready to purchase your first home, second home or investment property, we are here to help. Contact Ron Greenwald & Associates at 858-776-5863 today!