5 Things You Should Know Before Buying a Home

things-to-know-before-buying-a-home

The pressure to own a home appears at every corner, from watching House Hunters and Love It or List It to purchasing children’s toys like Barbie’s Dream House and Lincoln Logs. With the steady rise of Pinterest and mobile phone apps like Homesnap, potential home buyers have the opportunity to virtually design each room. It’s like the universe is giving you signs to buy as soon as possible.

Like all good things in life, finding and buying the right home takes time. There are a few tidbits of information that potential homeowners should know before they sign any paperwork. To make it easier for you, here is Ryan Homes at Brunswick Crossing’s list of what you should know before buying a home:

  1. Your purpose: We mentioned the pressures surrounding future homeowners to buy a home now, but before you start looking for your dream home, you should know why you want to buy it. Are you planning on expanding your family? Do you want to be closer to relatives or old friends? Do want to join an HOA neighborhood? Does your pet need more space? Your new home should fit your needs, so figure out what they are before you go browsing.

  2. Your budget: The term “dream home” doesn’t have to equate to emptying your wallet. Figure out your monthly income and use that to explore homes within an appropriate budget range. You may want to consider factoring in any hidden costs like property tax, home insurance, utilities, maintenance and closing fees (which can be negotiable, if you play your cards right).

  3. Your loan status: Most future home buyers aren’t growing money trees in their backyards, so applying for a home loan is totally normal. When checking your loan status, you’ll want to look at your financial history including pay stubs, employment forms and tax returns covering up to 2 years prior. To avoid a large mortgage, your down payment goal should be about 20 percent. This helps limit your monthly payment, which helps reduce your risk of a mortgage default. If you don't have 20 percent to put down, that's okay, too. There are many options available to you, but you should always make sure to weigh your income with the outgoing monthly mortgage payment you are likely to incur. 

  4. Your location: It’s more important to figure out where you want to live before you figure out your future home’s details. You could move down South or up North, maybe out West. However, you should also consider the location and quality of school systems (which can raise the property value), local conveniences, proximity to family, how much land you’ll need to care for, and the list goes on.

  5. Your future: The concept of looking ahead 5 years can be nerve-racking, but it’s necessary when thinking about buying a home. A house is not your typical, everyday purchase. You can’t return it if you don’t like it, and there’s no receipt for refunds or exchanges. When looking for a home, you should have a vague idea of where your life will take you in 5 years. Consider your career, your family, your marital status, any hefty student or car loans and other factors of life that could change within that time frame.

You can stop cursing at HGTV and rushing past the toy aisles when you see building blocks because buying a home doesn’t have to happen right away. Ignore the pressures and determine when the right time is for you. To do this, ask yourself if you know the 5 things we mentioned above. If you’re sure about your purpose, budget, loan status, location, and future then you’re probably ready to log back into Pinterest to start decorating.