Homeownership is the American Dream. Owning a home gives us confidence, but mainly, and is a place that provides security and safety or an area to grow a family.
As a trusted real estate advisor, I want to make the dream of home ownership come true. The first hurdle many face is knowing where to start the process.
Where Do I Start?
There is a list of questions to get you started when you decide to buy a home.
- How much space do you need?
- Will this be a short-term starter home or a "forever" home?
- What is your ideal commute?
- How much can you spend?
- Which neighborhood?
- Do you need to evaluate nearby schools?
Apply for a Mortgage
Next, you need to apply for a mortgage. Lenders will examine multiple factors, including your credit history, to determine how much you can borrow. They will look at your history of paying and managing your car loans, student loans, credit cards, and other debts.
Freddie Mac states to determine what you can afford, "you should spend no more than 28% of your monthly gross (pre-tax) income on your mortgage payment, including principal, interest, taxes and insurance."
Saving for a Down Payment
Saving for a down payment doesn't have to be daunting. There are multiple tips to help you:
- Automatic Savings: Business Insider suggests making an automatic percentage of your paycheck direct deposit it into a savings account set aside for your down payment. They state that "the automatic-savings strategy makes it so you don't have to constantly remember to save money."
- Learn where your money goes: Monitor your current spending to determine where you can trim the fat from your budget.
- Create a Goal: Talk to an agent or lender to determine how much you need to save and work towards that goal.
How Do I Budget and Determine Where My Money Goes
MoneyFit.org is an online budgeting worksheet that can help you stick to a planned budget and increase your savings.
They recommend these five rules:
- Identify Goals
- Record Expenses
- Record Earnings
- Compare and Calculate
- Fix Weak Spots
There are several benefits to buying a home, including an increase in equity and confidence, but more importantly, a home is a place that provides safety and security.
If you plan to buy a home, I encourage you to seek help. When it comes to buying a home, knowledge is power! I am very familiar with the market and trends in selling and purchasing properties in the Quad Cities area.