Basic home purchase information

The time is right. You’re financially set and you’ve come to the decision that you’ll be searching for a home to purchase soon.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should attend every open house within a 30-40 mile radius of where you currently live. Here are some things you should consider in your home-buying decision.

Research the neighborhoods

If you’re going to be purchasing a home that you’ll be living in for a few years, it’s best to know what the area you’ll be living in is like. Although sometimes the signs are obvious, it’s important know if a neighborhood has a high crime rate or if the schools in one area are leaps and bounds above the rest. Factors like those can drastically effect the value of homes.

Examine every bit of the home

You’ll more than likely be purchasing a home “as is.” You’ll want to know if it has any major cosmetic defects that require extensive – and more than likely costly – repair. Is the backyard in good or decent condition, or does it need work?

Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate

During negotiations over the sale of a home, always haggle and try to pay the lowest price possible. Be mindful in a hot market, you’ll more than likely have to outbid other buyers if you really want the home. Keep your offers reasonable so they’ll be taken seriously and won’t be dismissed as a joke. Also, factor in …

You’ll probably be putting at least 20 percent down

That’s the benchmark down payment on a home, and that’s not including fees associated with the purchase. A larger down payment shows you’re serious about the purchase and player in a potential bidding war.

Monthly payment should be 20-40 percent of income

Nobody wants to be “house poor”, or paying so much for their housing expenses they can pay for little else. Calculate 30 percent of your take-home income as a starting base for calculating how much of a monthly mortgage you can afford. Don’t forget about utilities and homeowners’ insurance as other monthly costs associated with owning a home.

Ready to start house searching? Visit our Real Estate Center to see if your dream home is out there.

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