Some great tips if you’re considering buying your first home.
When you’re a first-time home buyer eagerly anticipating getting into the market, there are several steps that you should take to help you decide whether you’re ready to take the plunge.
First, check the selling prices of comparable homes in your area. You can also do a quick search of actual MLS listings right here on our website.
Next, figure out what you can afford. Use our handy home affordability calculator below to help determine exactly what you can manage!
To get an idea of what you’ll pay in insurance, pick a property in the area where you want to live and make a call to a local insurance agent for an estimate. You won’t be obligated to get the insurance, but you’ll have a good idea of what you’ll pay if you buy. For and idea of what you’ll pay in taxes, Zillow publishes property-tax information for homes all over the country. Just remember that exemptions and the intricacies of local tax law can create differences between what a homeowner is currently paying and what you can expect to pay as a new homeowner.
Next, find out how much you’ll likely pay in closing costs. The upfront cost of settling on your home shouldn’t be overlooked. Closing costs include origination fees charged by the lender, title and settlement fees, taxes and prepaid items such as homeowners insurance or homeowners association fees. You can see what closing costs average in your state by looking at Bankrate.com’s annual closing cost survey.
Now, look at your budget and determine how a house fits into it. Fannie Mae recommends that buyers spend no more than 28% of their income on housing costs. Go much past 30%, and you risk becoming house poor.
Finally, talk to us about the current real estate climate. We’ll give you the straight facts about where prices are now, and where we believe they’re headed.