If you are ready to purchase a new home there may never be a better time than now. Home prices are at record lows, but a home will still likely be the largest investment you will ever make. No matter how great a deal it seems, you should still proceed with caution and don’t rush in to something you are not ready for. A home purchase could affect you for 30 years or more depending on the type of mortgage you choose.
Before you start your search for a new home, you should ask yourself (and be honest) how much you can afford to put toward the purchase of your new home.
A lot of factors are part of the decision making process of what you can afford when making a home purchase. The most important factors are: income, debt, down payment, and the term of the loan.
Once you determine what you can realistically afford, you’ll need to obtain a copy of your credit report and begin the process of finding a lender for a home mortgage. Don’t just start filling out applications everywhere you go, rather shop for a while. Armed with a copy of your credit report, begin talking to lenders about mortgage terms, interest rates, etc. until you find a lender that you find a good deal with.
A lot of buyers try to purchase a home on their own without the help of an agent in an effort to save a few dollars. These agents and brokers have acquired years of experience and knowledge about real estate transactions. There is no way of you gaining this experience in the 60 to 90 days period you will be buying a home. You risk making a mistake that could cost you a lot more than the fees you would have paid to the agents brokerage firm.
By no means am I suggesting that you hand them the keys and let them run the transaction any way they see fit. You still need to educate yourself and remain in control of your real estate deal.
Remember that these professionals earn their money when you close the deal. It is their job to help you get through the details and into the home you want to purchase.