A Home of Your Own
Owning your own home comes with many responsibilities. From the browsing process to the purchasing of a new home, many steps are involved that require patience, purchasing a home is not an overnight process. This website has been set up to help cover some of the steps of purchasing a home and some of the basic responsibilities of home ownership overall.
Get a Mortgage Pre-Approval
Approach a mortgage lender for a pre-approval before you begin the home search. Knowing the amount you are approved for ahead of time helps you to perform the right searches. It is frustrating to place an offer on a home and not get approved for the financing.
Determine a Feasible Budget
Mortgage calculators and lenders can help calculate what a mortgage payment will be based upon approvals. Once that amount is determined, you will be able to assess the situation to see if a specific home will fit within your budget. Regardless of your pre-approval amount, understand fully what you can actually afford and stick to that budget. Purchasing a house that is more expensive than your actual budget puts you at risk for foreclosure and late payments.
Research the Area
Exploring a neighborhood or community before moving into it is ideal. You should drive or walk through the neighborhood on varying days and times of the week. Also speak with local law enforcement regarding crime rates in the specific area. Understanding the aesthetics of a neighborhood prior to moving into it eases with the adjustment process.
Create a Must Haves List
As the home search begins, creating a list of must haves is a good idea. In that list include items that would be nice to have but are not absolute deal breakers. Keep in mind that the perfect house with everything you want and need is likely not out there, however, something that is very close and can be made perfect is. Consider the thought of performing a few minor renovations to make a home absolutely perfect to have everything on that must have list.
Insist on a Home Inspection
Purchasing a home "as-is" can be quite dangerous, not to mention costly. Most real estate agencies will suggest a home inspection prior to completing a purchase. The benefits of having an inspection completed include finding major issues with plumbing, electrical and structural issues within a home along with any items that are not up to code. Roofing issues and foundation problems can also be uncovered. Part of the home inspection process will reveal what needs to be fixed right away and what needs to be handled down the road. The results can reflect heavily on your decision to continue with the purchase or walk away.
Knowing When to Walk Away from a Deal
Sometimes a deal can seem too good to be true. This is often the case in homes that require a large amount of updates or renovations as well as those that have undisclosed issues. If a seller is unwilling to offer a repair credit or fix items themselves prior to you taking ownership, it may be a good idea to walk away from the deal. If the funds are lacking or you desire to make these repairs yourself, walking away is often the right option. Another instance to consider walking away is if the seller is unwilling to negotiate the selling price to reflect the repairs that are required for the home to be up to code safety standards.
Responsibilities of Home Ownership
As a homeowner, it is vital that it be maintained. This includes yearly HVAC maintenance, cleaning of plumbing systems, maintaining the outdoor space and ensuring that small items like gutters are kept clean. The major systems of a home should be inspected at least yearly to ensure that they are functioning properly. Some minor repairs or a total system replacement may be required to ensure efficiency and safety.
Maintaining an up-to-date homeowner's insurance policy is another big responsibility. Insurance policies are in place to aid homeowners in case of a fire or natural disaster that causes damage or complete destruction of a home. An example of this would be hail or storm damage suffered on the roof or siding of a home. Many homeowners' insurance policies will cover the cost of repairs or replacements.
Understand that the road to home ownership can be a bumpy one, and it is likely to have a few twists and turns along the way. Keep in mind though, that once the keys are in your hand, a great sense of accomplishment will be upon you. Do not let a few bumps in the road deter you from owning a home of your own. It takes determination to complete the journey to walking in the front door of a home of your own.