New Year: How to Prepare For Buying A House
Considering making a move to a new house this year? Let us help get you prepared with these easy steps…
Determine what area you want to move to
Where are you now? Are you in an apartment and want to buy your first place? Have you outgrown your small house and want to make room for your growing family? Or are you someone who would like to downsize to a more manageable property? It’s important to figure out what your goal is before shopping for your ideal home. Making a move is a big decision and it will help the home shopping process if you first define what specific reasons you need to leave your current location.
What do you like about where you currently live? Is it the neighborhood or the school district or your friendly mailman? I know that sounds silly, but these things are important. Ask yourselves these questions, because even if you have an idea of what city or general area you want to be in, you need to know what type of neighborhood is best for you. You may want the perfect cul-de-sac house with the picket-fence or the quiet home in a gated community. Decide on a type of living community that fits your lifestyle.
What is your driving force? Is it to be close to work, nearer to a school or closer to family? What are your motivating factors in your move, and how important are these factors? You may not be able to find a house that sits in perfect centrality to your various commutes. Determine what is most important to be near.
Decide how much you want to spend monthly toward your mortgage
What are you paying in rent now and how much more or less can you spend on your mortgage payment? Depending on the location, many experts recommend buying over renting, as it’s money back in your pocket and an investment towards your future.
A prime example can be comparing rent vs. mortgage in Brea, CA. Average RENT for a 2 bedroom to bath home in Brea is $2,811 per month* where as the average MORTGAGE is $1,967.76**
*Based off a search of average 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom properties for rent in Brea
**Based off of a search for an average 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom homes for sale, which in Brea is $500,000
Figure out what you can afford for a down payment
What is your new budget for a monthly mortgage payment? What you can spend on your monthly mortgage and how much of a down payment you can afford will determine your home budget.
Hint: If you are curious about what your budget is, the agents at One Realty Group are more than willing to crunch some numbers for you.
Remember to keep funds in your account for at least two mortgage payments and other hidden expenses. Don’t expect to wipe out your savings. The banks will want to see that you have some backup cash in your accounts after you spend your down payment. For example, if your mortgage payment is going to be $2,000/month, it might be safe to have at least $5,000-$6,000 left in savings after factoring in your down payment.
Get Pre-Approved before you want to begin house shopping
Getting pre-approved is free and necessary to make an offer on a property. If you begin the shopping process and fall in love with a property before you get pre-approved, chances are you’ll lose the house to a more qualified buyer.
Hint: A quick pre-approval online is not always sufficient. It’s recommended that you see a few lenders in the course of one week, getting each of their approvals for a loan.
If you’re ready to find your dream house, don’t hesitate to ask questions and gather as much information as you need. The agents at One Realty Group want nothing more than to make the buying process as easy and enjoyable as possible. If you want to take your first step toward buying a house in 2018, give One Realty Group a call. [1.800.257.6021]