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5 Signs That You Are Ready To Become A Homeowner
Maybe you have thought about buying a home. Possibly you even have done some researches, trying to calculate how much you can afford and spent some time going to look at some open houses. But the question is, are you REALLY ready, emotionally and financially, to make a move?
Here is a point of view, at what some mortgage and real estate professionals know about who is ready to go and who needs more time to prepare for the process.
Plan to Stay
Buying a home might seem like a no-brainer if your mortgage payment would be less than the rent you're paying, but do not forget to take for consideration other costs of being a homeowner, including down payment, cost of mortgage, home maintenance and repair expenses, says Ed Conarchy, a mortgage loan originator for Cherry Creek Morgage CO. in Gurnee, Ill.
When you account these factors, short-term homeownership rarely makes sense.
"When you buy a home, you should know you're going to stay for a minimum of five to seven years, and longer is better," Conarchy says. "If you try to do everything you need to do to make that house yours and then you turn around and sell it after three years, you're not going to break even and you're at risk of the market."
If your employment situation feels secure and you're prepared to stay in one place for a while, you might be ready to buy.
Very few people have enough cash to buy their first home without a mortgage. Rather, most need financing to afford today's home prices.
Realtors know that all too well, which is why many won't spend much time with would-be buyers who haven't had a serious talk with a mortgage professional.
As Jay Dacey, a mortgage broker for Metropolitan Financial Mortgage Co. in Minneapolis, explains, "A good Realtor will ask you what your criteria are and set up a search through the MLS for you, but a good Realtor is also going to say, 'The next step is for you to contact a mortgage professional and make sure you're preapproved.'"
The loan approval process is no different for first-timers than it is for experienced home purchasers, Dacey adds.
Timing is another essential element in buyer readiness.
A time frame that's too long doesn't make sense. But neither does a time frame that's too short. For example, if your lease doesn't expire for many months or you need to move within 30 days, buying a home might not be practical for you right now. The ideal situation is to be ready to buy and able to wait, especially if the market in your area is a hothouse of multiple offers.
Saving a sizable nest egg is another important milestone for would-be homebuyers, says Ken Pozek, a Realtor for Keller Williams Realty in Northville, Mich.
That's because you'll need savings not only for your down payment but also your emergency fund, moving expenses and home maintenance costs.
"A lot of people forget that there is a lot of maintenance with owning a home, especially if you've been used to renting. From a financial perspective, (it's important to) make sure that even if you're emotionally ready or excited to buy, that you have nest eggs set up as well," Pozek says.
Examples of home maintenance chores include mowing lawns; trimming trees and hedges; shoveling snow; exterminating termites, rats or other pests; clearing out rain gutters; cleaning major appliances; and washing windows, walls and doors.
Even if you do a lot of the work yourself, you'll still need to buy supplies and equipment.
Most first-time buyers believe buying a home will be a perfect scenario where it all happens like it does on television. They see three houses. They pick one, and it all works out beautifully. Unfortunately, that never happens. Giving up that misconception and being realistic about time, effort, money, stress and hassle involved is an important step toward being ready to move forward.
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Buying or selling a house can be an overwhelming and daunting process. Will my home sell? How much can I get for it? What can I afford to buy? All questions that need to be answered by a reliable and ....