Have you found the perfect home and are ready to buy it?
Congratulations! It’s a major step, and it will put you in a different bracket. You’ll be able to talk about crabgrass, backyard barbecues and bay windows.
However, there are a few things for which you should be prepared. You might have to wait for your purchase, until you save enough money to cover everything. There are expenditures beyond closing costs that you need to consider.
Answer these ten questions so you’ll know whether the house is right for you.
1. How Much Can You Afford for a Down Payment?
Saving up to pay more than the usual five percent is a good idea. You’ll avoid paying some extra fees. That being said, it’s always important to check with a mortgage specialist in your area to learn about local programs and incentives. Many states have special programs to help first time buyers get into a home for lower than 5% down.
2. How Much More Will You Be Expected to Pay?
Keep in mind you’ll need homeowners insurance before you sign the papers at closing. Research the property taxes as well. Compute one figure for mortgage, insurance and taxes, and save for it each month.
3. Will You Resell the House in Five or Thirty Years?
Closing costs can seem like a maze. Costs can include:
• Title insurance
• Excise taxes
• Lender points
• Inspection fees
• Recording fees
It will seem as if you’re paying all this at once. It can be eyeopening. If you’re not going to stay in the house for long, it might be better to rent.
4. What Other Monies Should be Considered?
Before you get to closing, you’ll need to think about other expenditures.
• You might decide on an addition in the future, or perhaps refinishing the basement and/or attic.
• Don’t forget the roof. It will need to be replaced within ten to 15 years.
• The electrical and plumbing could use a checkup around that time too.
• Remember to check the windows and ducts for leaks.
• Will you need fencing?
• Would you like to create a wonderland of landscaping?
• You might want upgraded appliances.
• You might want to paint and get hardwood floors or new carpet to suit your tastes.
• Do you have enough furniture, pots and pans, dishes and curtains? These expenditures can be budgeted down the road, but you might want to think about them.
5. Does the House Feel Like Home?
Now that you’ve thought out the money, what about the house? When you walked in, did it feel welcoming? Trust your instincts. If you answered yes, then the house could be right for you.
6. Is the Location Right?
Do you want the house close to a major highway so you will not be late for work due to distance? If convenience is important, is the house close to schools, churches and shopping? If you’re active, is the house close to sports and entertainment areas?
7. Is the View Right?
This isn’t as frivolous as it sounds. If you admire purple mountains’ majesty, then this could be the house for you. If you prefer running in the park and walking to work, then consider a house closer to town. If you work late or work two jobs, when would you enjoy the view? Weigh your lifestyle against the house’s surroundings.
8. Is the Neighborhood a Good Fit?
Neighborhoods are an important factor in home searches. Will the resale value appreciate in this neighborhood? Is it zoned for future commercial ventures? The safety of the neighborhood is also a large part of choosing a home.
9. What is the Status of the Trees?
Make no mistake, trees are important. They act as a windbreak, filter rainfall into the water table and shade the house on hot days. If the trees are old or damaged, they could fall. What is the proximity of the trees location to the home? Is there danger of any trees toppling the home causing severe damage?
10. Why Do You Want to Buy a House?
Are all your friends buying a house and you feel you should too? Do you consider a house an investment in the future? You could take advantage of tax breaks.
Does it just feel right to you? Can you see friends and family gathering in the backyard for barbecues?
Is the dining room perfect for entertaining business associates? Will your decorations make this house worthy of a magazine cover during the holidays?
Know thyself, and this could be the right house for you.