When making home buying decisions, would-be buyers have to consider many things. The top four considerations are shown in the graphic. These, of course, are before you even consider the home itself. Let’s look at the individual considerations.
At the top of the list is the price. While price is important, in the current market it is even more important that you leave yourself some room to negotiate. So after you have set a budget based on what a lender has determined you can borrow, look at homes $10,000 to $15,000 below your maximum budget. Don’t let $5,000 or $10,000 come between you and the home you want. Such a difference amounts to $35 to $70 per month in additional payment.
Your personal finances are going to affect your purchasing power, so putting them in order should be your first priority. Debt such as credit card debt, a car loan, etc will reduce how much you can borrow for a home. Reducing it as much as possible will help you qualify for more home buying power. Don’t let things like a bankruptcy or foreclosure stop you. There are ways to get past these blemishes on your credit history.
While finding a home that feels right is very important, don’t jump to conclusions as the year the home was built. For the last 10+ years, there has been an aggressive refurbishing and remodeling of older homes. This is cheaper than building new homes. So a lot of investors have opted to do so. As a result, you can find homes with all the modern amenities that were built many years ago.
This is constant concern for would-be home owners. And it has grown in size with each passing year. Saving for a down payment is ever more difficult with paychecks remaining flat or losing ground because or the increasing cost of living. The solution has been to increase assistance programs to cover middle and upper-middle income earners. You will have to show a need. There are few, if any, restrictions on where or what you can buy.
These are largely out of your control as they fluctuate daily. Right now interest rates are around 4%. They dropped to 3.9% on Friday March 8th but they likely will rise again to 4% or more this coming week. It is a good idea not to delay or you may get an unpleasant surprise. You can buy down the rate if it is super-important to get the lowest possible rate. As long as you live in the home for many years to come, this can be the right thing to do. Keep in mind that typically people move every 8 to 10 years.
The home buying process is filled with decisions. A good lender coupled with a good Realtor can help you navigate all of them successfully. I do both loans and homes so I can help you every step of the way. Contact me at 760 622 5087 to get started.