Whether you’ve spent years saving and preparing to buy a Home or you’re unsure if you can afford it, the questions surrounding home buying can feel endless. Buying a Home is an Exciting and often can be an overwhelming experience, particularly if you are buying your first home. We can help you through the Home buying process and assure that you find the right home for you, at the right price.
Setting a Time Frame
There are a lot of variables in the home-buying process, which means the time it takes to find and buy your new Home varies as well. A typical home search process may take two to three months, including the mortgage approval process, comparing and evaluating properties, making an offer and the closing process. The loan process typically takes 30-45 days.
The Mortgage Process
Perhaps one of the most intimidating aspects of buying a Home is the mortgage approval process. Kathy is here to help guide you through this, but there are many ways you can prepare early to make the process smoother. Start by making sure your budget is under control.
First make a list of all your monthly expenses. Compare this with your income, and see if adjustments need to be made. You should also try to pay off small credit card balances. Start gathering documents you may need, such as W-2 forms, income tax returns for two years, pay stubs, records of child support or alimony, bank statements for the past several months, and your credit report. Also, be sure to allow for closing costs. Getting several offers will allow you to compare loans and get the best deal.
Determining how much you can afford
A general guideline to consider is that most Buyers typically purchase a Home that costs about 1.5% to 2.5% of their current annual income.
For example, someone earning $50,000 a year might purchase a home for $75,000 to $125,000. The mortgage should be about 28% to 30% percent of your gross monthly income. Existing debt is also considered in the mortgage process, and total debt payments (car payments, credit cards, student loans, etc.) should not exceed 40 to 45% of your gross monthly income.
Finding a Home that meets your Needs and Wants
Before you start looking at properties go ahead and make a list of “must-have” features along with optional features. “Must-have” features may include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you’ll need to accommodate your family, location (consider commute to work, which schools your children will attend, etc.), lot size and special needs (handicapped access, etc.).
Optional features may include the architectural styling, bay windows, landscaping, etc. Having a clear idea of what you want in a home will help Kathy find the perfect property for you.