Purchasing a new home can generate a lot of many emotions. You can feel overwhelmed, overjoyed, frustrated and logical. The purchasing of a home, whether it is your first or your last, can be a daunting. Regardless of your mindset and emotions it is important to think rationally and level headed. When working with a buyer the words I always bring up are “comfortable and comfort.” They should always be considered and come into play.
A significant part of your decision process should be clear to you even before you begin the process of purchasing through your REALTOR. By doing upfront research and numbers crunching you should have a very good idea of your comfort zone regarding price. The decision to purchase a home is solely your decision and if applicable your spouse. It is an option and if done with a high level of comfort it can be both a fun and rewarding process.
Do your due diligence. Talk to a reputable and knowledgeable lender discussing what funds you will need on hand to purchase a home. Discuss the right loan product or products to suit your current and future needs and affordability. Most importantly do what you are comfortable with. Just because you are pre approved for a three hundred thousand dollar loan does not mean you need to buy a three hundred thousand dollar home. What does your future look like and where do you see your income growth? Does your future include children, education funding, upgrading or updating your new residence? There are many future variables to carefully analysis and consider. Also homeowners should carefully analysis their debt obligation coming into your purchase: debt obligations such as student loans, medical bills, vehicles or others.
Real estate values as we all know can go either up or down. Many financial advisors suggest using twenty five percent of your monthly gross income towards your monthly housing expenses. Talk to a friend or a family member whom you trust and respect and see what their formula for success is and has been. This will give you the ability to build reserves for savings, other investments, home improvements, emergencies and many other situations. All property requires a certain level of maintenance or the home value certainly will go down. Proactive or preventative maintenance can save you both time and money in the future. So it is a good rule of thumb to plan for the future with savings.
In summation buying a first home or any home can be a wonderful experience. Money is not the root of all evil but it can be the root of indecision, if you are paralyzed when making a decision of purchasing a home. A home is not a liquid asset, and real estate is not as volatile as you think. In a healthy market it should rise at a relatively slow speed. Work through your fears, get your finances in tiptop shape and get out a buy a home. Buying a home does not have to be paralyzing, do your due diligence, do your research and do use a local and licensed REALTOR for all your home transactions.
Pete Chaison is co owner of Savannah List For Less and can be reached at 912.313.2759 or firstname.lastname@example.org