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6 Helpful Hints To Keep In Mind When Buying A Home At some point in our lives, each of us will consider whether or not this is the best time for us to purchase a home. However, rarely is buying a home as easy as simply finding a vendor willing to sell their home and then purchasing it. In today’s world, a number of significant factors will need to be taken into account – after all, buying a home is likely going to be the most expensive decision you’ve made in your life! In order to help you out, here are 6 helpful hints to keep in mind when buying a home:
1. Am I Ready To Buy A Home?
When considering whether or not you are ready to buy a home, consider the following:
• do you have a steady source of income? – although buying a home maybe top of your current wish list, if you do not have a ready means of paying for it, it’s very likely you’ll be putting unnecessary financial pressure on yourself, which could affect other aspects in your life. Remember, there are few things worse in life than having your home repossessed;
• do I have experience of caring for a home? –potential home buyers should always have experience of caring for a home, including how to pay those important utility bills!
• do I have money saved? – buying a home is going to be the most expensive decision of your life, so don’t make this decision if you have no money saved. Also keep in mind that you’ll likely need to pay a deposit (of around 20 per cent) on the house price;
• do I have outstanding debt? – if you’re looking to get a mortgage, there a few things that put lenders off quicker than seeing you pull up in a brand new (hirer purchased) car. All too often lenders have had bad experiences with borrowers with too much debt and are unlikely to lend. On the other hand, if you have few debts you’re in a much better position to be considering buying a home.
2. Should I Be Renting Or Buying? An age old question, and a really tough one to answer. Deciding whether or not you should be renting or buying very much depends on what your expectations/wants are. Generally, when you rent you can leave and move on almost at will. Buying a home will not, likely, give you the same amount of freedom. On the other hand, many believe that paying rent is ‘dead money’ – you don’t get anything in return. Here, buying a home means that with each mortgage repayment you add equity to your investment and are one step closer to owning your home outright.
3. What Should I look For When Buying A Home?
The answer to this question very much depends on what you want out of your home. If you want to buy a home downtown (for example, to be near the office), then you’ll need to take into consideration traffic networks. Alternatively, if you have a young family and are looking to buy a home in the suburbs, you’ll likely need to consider issues such as: • schooling for your children; • after school activities; • community activities; • neighborhood issues (including crime in that neighborhood); and
• how you feel your family will fit in with the neighborhood.
4. If I Decide to Buy A Home: How Much Can I Spend? This depends on how much savings you have and how much you earn. In short, when considering whether or not to lend to you mortgage companies tend to lend up to three times the borrower’s annual salary. However, each lender is different, and this should just be a ball-park figure for you to consider. You’ll also need to keep in mind the fact that your lender may require you to pay a deposit of around twenty percent, which should go some way to determining how much you can afford to spend on buying a home.
5. Should I Use A Real Estate Agent?
Yes. There are so many aspects with buying a home that it is always prudent to use a real estate agent. The real estate agent can then help you with:
• finding the best home to suit your needs: not only will this include finding the ‘right’ neighborhood for you and your family, but it should also include making sure the home best suits your needs. When considering this issue, keep in mind (i) is there enough room for furniture; (ii) are there going to be enough bedrooms and bathrooms (especially if you have young children, who’ll grow up to be old children soon enough); (iii) is there enough car porch space; (iv) is the garden big enough; (v) does the roof leak!;
• putting down an offer price on the home; • finding a mortgage lender; • the home inspection: a home inspection is when you get a professional to inspect the home you’re looking to buy to see if there are any faults with the home. If there are, this is the time when you can ask the seller to rectify those faults before you go ahead and buy the home; • the final walk-through (after your offer has been accepted – when you’ll need to examine the home to make sure it matches with all of the seller’s warranties and any correction you asked to be made following the home inspection have been made); and
• any remaining closing issues that may be outstanding.
When deciding which real estate agent to select, it is always advisable that you seek the opinion of other family members and friends to see which real estate agent they have used in the past – and which real estate agent may have experience in the areas in which you are looking at buying a home. 6. Are There Any Benefits In Buying A Home? The most common cited benefit of buying a home is the income tax deduction you’ll receive. However, many home buyers like the non-financial benefits that come with buying a home; such as: (i) the security of knowing the home is theirs; (ii) the home is theirs to do with as they wish (normally, when renting, you cannot paint and decorate at will). This kind of security is rarely felt when renting a home. Finally, once you have bought your home you really do become part of the community you live in!
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