A home is probably the biggest financial investment you’ll make in your life. Before you get started, do some homework. This handy Buyer’s Guide will show you some things to keep in mind as you’re hunting for that home of your dreams.
10 Steps to Prepare for Homeownership
7 Reasons to Own Your Own Home
- Tax breaks. The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, property taxes you pay, and some of the costs involved in buying your home.
- Gains. Between 1998 and 2002, national home prices increased at an average of 5.4 percent annually. And while there’s no guarantee of appreciation, a 2001 study by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®found that a typical homeowner has approximately $50,000 of unrealized gain in a home.
- Equity. Money paid for rent is money that you’ll never see again, but mortgage payments let you build equity ownership interest in your home.
- Savings. Building equity in your home is a ready-made savings plan. And when you sell, you can generally take up to $250,000 ($500,000 for a married couple) as gain without owing any federal income tax. (Check with your Tax Advisor)
- Predictability. Unlike rent, your mortgage payments don’t go up over the years so your housing costs may actually decline as you own the home longer. However, keep in mind that property taxes and insurance costs will rise.
- Freedom. The home is yours. You can decorate any way you want and be able to benefit from your investment for as long as you own the home.
- Stability. Remaining in one neighborhood for several years gives you a chance to participate in community activities, lets you and your family establish lasting friendships, and offers your children the benefit of educational continuity.
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, escrow fees, insurance 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 REALTOR® who can help you through the process.
Reprinted from Realtor Magazine Online by permission of the National Association of Realtors®
Copyright 2005. All rights reserved. www.Realtor.org/realtormag
1. Use the mortgage calculator on the left side of this website to determine how much you can afford in monthly payments.
2. Meet with a lender of your choice to get a pre-approval letter.
3. Initial consultation with me to help you understand the entire process of purchasing your new home.
4. Do a property search online or call me and I will do a search for you based on what you can afford.
5. Make an offer on the home that you have found that suits your needs.
6. Close escrow and move into your new home.
Specializing in... California Relocation | San Fernando Valley Relocation | California Senior Relocation | Commercial Relocation | Real Estate Red Hatters | Baby Boomer Real Estate. Services include Oxnard Relocation, Moorpark Relocation, Santa Clarita Relocation, and Relocation in surrounding areas.