So you want to be a home owner

First time buyers face a lot of questions, the information below is meant to act as a guide. Some things you can do to prepare for your first home search.  As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions.  After all, I do this everyday.

With all this talk in the news about this being a buyers market you may be considering jumping in.  Buying a home is a big step and if you’ve never done it before you may not have a clue where to begin.  Below I’ve listed Ten Steps to start the process



10 Steps to Prepare for Homeownership


1.      Decide how much home you can afford. Generally, you can afford a home equal in value to between two and three times your gross income.


2.      Develop a wish list of what you’d like your home to have. Then prioritize the features on your list.


3.      Select three or four neighborhoods you’d like to live in. Consider items such as schools, recreational facilities, area expansion plans, and safety.


4.      Determine if you have enough saved to cover your downpayment and closing costs. Closing costs, including taxes, and transfer fees average between 2 percent and 7 percent of the home price.


5.      Get your credit in order. Obtain a copy of your credit report.


6.      Determine how large a mortgage you can qualify for. Also explore different loans options and decide what’s best for you.


7.      Organize all the documentation a lender will need to preapprove you for a loan.


8.      Do research to determine if you qualify for any special mortgage or downpayment-assistance programs.


9.      Calculate the costs of homeownership, including property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and association fees, if applicable.


10.  Find an experienced Real Estate Agent who can help you through the process.