Homeownership 101: Here’s What You Need to Know if You’re Buying Your First Home – Part Two
Last week, we shared the first part of our series on what you need to know if you’re buying your first home. Thanks for coming back for the second and final installment of this series.
At Precision Home Inspection, we know how important it is to think carefully before you purchase your first home. It’s a big step because you’re probably going from renting to owning, and the two are really very different.
Today we have three more tips that will help you navigate this challenging but rewarding process. By following them, you may be able to avoid making a purchasing mistake that you will regret.
Don’t Purchase a House That’s Outside Your Budget
If you need a mortgage to purchase a home, one of the first steps is to talk with either a bank or a mortgage broker. They will collect all of your financial information and then run some figures to decide how much you can afford to pay for a home. Far too many people take that figure as law, and then they start shopping for a house that is way outside their actual budget.
Your bank will probably tell you that you can afford to pay 30% of your monthly salary as a house payment on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. You need to do some of your own math to figure out if that is true. Doing that is going to mean taking a long, hard look at your income as well as your projected income. You may not have the same job today that you will have five years from now. You want to make sure you can still afford your home in the future.
While You’re at it, Look Beyond the Purchase Price
There’s a lot that goes along with buying a house. You also need to think about homeowners insurance, taxes and other expenses. If you buy a house in a neighborhood with a homeowner association, you may have to pay a fee to be a member as well. At first, these costs may seem minor, but they can quickly add up.
You will also want to have a maintenance budget when you move into your new home. If it’s an older home, this might need to be a significant part of your overall income. Likewise, if you have a swimming pool, that is another expense.
Don’t Focus Solely on Cosmetic Repairs
Many new homeowners mostly think about that basement bedroom they would like to turn into a “man cave”, or the kitchen they’d like to renovate. But there may be other issues that should be considered first.
- Is the furnace going to need to be replaced soon?
- Is the dishwasher on its last legs?
- Will you need to start thinking about a new roof within the first two years?
These are questions your home inspector will be able to answer for you.
If you need to schedule your home inspection, we make it really easy. You can schedule your inspection online, or give us a call 24/7. We’ll get you taken care of.
We look forward to inspecting your home!