Many of our buyers are “on the fence” about buying a home right now. There are signs that will indicate whether you’re ready to take the plunge and buy a home.
1. Are you familiar with the market?
If you’ve been paying attention on how much houses are listed for in the neighborhoods you’re interested in and you have a realistic view of how much a house will cost you, you’re in good shape.
2. Do you have the money for a down payment and closing costs?
Down payments usually range from 3%-20% depending on the type of loan you acquire. Closing costs can be 2%-7% of the property value. One great thing to mention, however, is that closing costs are negotiable and you could buy a home today without paying any closing costs.
3. Do you know how much you can afford?
A general guide is: your monthly payment should be less than or equal to a percentage of your income, usually about ¼ of you gross monthly income. Also, your income, debt and credit history go into determining how much you can borrow. This general rule is: your debt, credit cards, car loans, housing expenses, alimony or child support, should not be more than about 30%-40% of your gross income.
4. Do you know what additional expenses will come along owning a home?
These expenses can include insurance, utility bills, maintenance costs (roofing, plumbing, heating and cooling).
5. Is your credit in good shape and is your credit report accurate?
Lenders will view your credit history to determine whether they’ll give you a loan. You can get a credit report from each of the three credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union.
6. Have you made any recent major purchases?
If you have, you may have a hard time getting a loan or it could potential lower the amount you’ll be able to borrow.