Buying a new house? Here's some tips to help you along the way...
1. Get pre-approved with your bank-that way you know how much you can spend on your new home. Remember that some of it will need to go to closing costs, origination fees and a good home inspection.
2. Have your income tax and other documents organized-typically banks want two years of tax documents, W-2 forms and paystubs. Having it all ready and on hand will help tremendously with the loan process.
3. Know what you can afford. The rule of thumb is that you should spend no more than 28% of your non-bill income on a house. This would be a good excuse to go thru your bills and figure out what you can pay off. Getting a copy of your credit report sometime before you start house-hunting would be a good idea, too.
4. Check out federal loans, tax credits and grants in the area you are looking to buy in. If you qualify for any of them, it could be a big leg up.
5. Know what (and WHERE) you are looking for in a home. Sit down and make a list of ALL you want in a home-and then rank them, first to last. There is no perfect house, but knowing what you want and having it ranked in order will help you pick one with the things you consider most important. Knowing what neighborhoods you want to look in cuts down on the number of homes you have to go thru also, thus cutting down on stress and overload.
6. Try not to get emotionally invested until AFTER the sale closes. Buying a home can be a big emotional roller coaster. Staying at least a little un-involved until the sale closes can save you a few emotional bumps.
7. Know when to cut and run. If that lovely house turns out to have big problems with the home inspection, be willing to back out, if necessary. Taking on a great deal of repair in a new home is not for the inexperienced.
8. Get a Realtor that you are comfortable with personally, who can explain clearly all of the terms, conditions and issues that you might have. Buying a home can be stressful-a Realtor that helps cushion you from the insanity while telling you the honest truth about any issues is worth their weight in gold.
Hopefully these sensible tips will make your home buying process a little easier.
Good luck and Happy House Hunting!!