The American Dream of home ownership can be paved with road blocks if we do know how to navigate the journey. We are in the aftereffects of the Great Recession where home prices are still great, but where do we start?
1. KNOW WHAT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY NEED, IF IT IS JUST YOU – KNOW WHAT YOU WANT
Know before you go – There are many things you will need to consider, most will be determined by a little research and asking great questions. What questions to ask? Great question and here are just a few that will help guide you:
- What style of home will work best for you, one story, two story, or is a town-home/condo a viable option?
- How big is the family and do you have children that will be attending nearby schools?
- Are you looking for a kid friendly neighborhood or a 55+ community?
- Is convenience a most or are you willing to commute?
Answering these few questions along with – the number of bedrooms, whether you need a fenced yard, or you want granite countertops and a three-car garage should help priorities which homes you will ask your Realtor to set up showings for. A great place to start is ViewMyrtleBeachListings.com, this resource will help you estimate home values, see school information, and help make other important considerations.
2. SAVE. SAVE. SAVE. – YOU WILL NEED MONEY FOR A DOWN PAYMENT
Before the Great Recession you could take your show cat “Fluffy” in, say he was making $5000 a month and get a loan, today you will need the green paper stuff to secure a loan. The amount you save will determine the kind of mortgage you may qualify for. Your down payment will also play a factor in determining how much you will end up paying for a home.
I trust by now if you are searching for home, you probable already have a down payment or at the least know where you will get the money from.
3. CAN YOU AFFORD THAT HOME?
WHAT IS YOUR TOTAL MONTHLY GROSS INCOME? Many loan companies and most banks will not let you spend more than a certain percentage of your gross monthly income (usually 28%) on a payment. Say you and your wife make $100K a year, then your monthly gross income would be $8,333. Your monthly housing costs should not exceed 28% of this or $2,333 ($8,333 x .28 = $2,333).
HOW MUCH DO YOU OWE? These banking institutions will also want to consider how much dept you carry. The amount calculated for this usually is 41% of your gross monthly income or $3,416 ($8,333 x .41 = $3,416). Say all your other bills are $1,800 a month, then you could afford a house payment of $1,616 ($3,416 – $1,800 = $1,616).
4. GET PRE-APPROVED TO KNOW EXACTLY WHAT PRICE HOMES YOU NEED TO LOOK FOR
Here we go, up until now you have determined what type of home you will need, how much you may be able to spend and what area you will be looking. Now is a great time to firm up what you can really afford, call several lenders and see what their rates are and apply for a pre-approval. When you apply for home a loan, no matter how many times you apply within a short time frame it will only count towards your credit score once (check with your credit reporting agency for time periods and verification).
WHAT IS A PRE-APPROVAL? Sometimes referred to as a pre-qualified loan mortgage is a promise form the lender to the seller of the home that you’re qualified to borrow up to a certain amount of money.
Also, having a pre-qualified letter from a lender makes your offer stronger in the event the home seller receives multiple offers at the same time. Most Professional Realtors will not put an offer in on a home for you unless you are pre-qualified.
Every lender has different offers and different rates and we believe we have them all beat! Get your pre-approval:
Whether you are just starting to look for a new home, need to get pre-approved, or have questions and looking for a professional Realtor – We are here to help; Contact US here
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