Purchasing your first home is a significant financial commitment. It’s also one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. This is why it’s so important to be realistic about your current circumstances and plan your purchase carefully.
To help you decide whether now is the time to make your big move, ask yourself the following key questions.
What are my goals for the future?
Buying a home is about more than your budget. It’s about your lifestyle too. Consider your current lifestyle needs (such as room for a home office or proximity to green spaces), but also how these needs will evolve. After all, purchasing real-estate is a long-term investment.
You should plan to be in your home for about five years before moving again. Will you need more space within this timeframe for a growing family? Will you need cash available to go back to school? Think about how the home you purchase now will support your goals for the future.
If staying put and financially prioritizing your home for the next five years feels unrealistic, don’t despair. Waiting to purchase will allow you to save for a down payment down the road. If you are interested in learning more about the kind of down payment you should save for, reach out to me and I would be happy to assist you!
What can I comfortably afford?
If you are ready to commit to a home for the next five years or so, you need to determine how much you can afford to spend. First, consider your upfront costs. These include your down payment, closing costs, and any applicable taxes.
Next, take into account your ongoing costs, such as mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, utility bills, routine repairs and maintenance, and condominium fees. With all relevant costs factored in, ensure you also have some funds set aside for any major repairs that might come up, like a new water tank, furnace, or roof.
I am always available to help you identify a purchase price and a mortgage product that will feel comfortable for you. Together we can ensure you have financial flexibility to cover the often-hidden costs of homeownership without feeling burdened.
What are my mortgage options?
There are many different mortgage products available to home buyers, and they all have extensive options and features. Navigating the possibilities (and the paperwork) can be complex and time consuming. To help make the home buying process as seamless as possible, surround yourself with professionals who will offer you a tremendous amount of knowledge and support. Your team of professionals should include your realtor, home inspector, lawyer, and mortgage advisor.
Mortgage advisors take time to understand your financial needs and will research the market to find the best mortgage for you. We represent you when negotiating with lenders, manage your paperwork, and advocate for you every step of the way. A key service that mortgage advisors can provide is pre-approval.
In a fast-paced real estate market, getting pre-approved for a mortgage can make the difference between your offer being accepted or not. We can also place rate holds on your behalf to help you lock in interest rates for up to 120 days.
If you are a first-time home buyer seeking to fully understand your financial situation and maximize the options available to you, reach out to set up a call.
I can help you answer these three key questions and more, and my advice is always free!