5 Key considerations before buying a home
First, think about how long will you be staying in the home you buy. This will help you determine whether to stretch yourself a bit so you won't outgrow the home before you plan on moving or not. Also, if you should buy down the interest rate so you can enjoy the benefit of lower monthly payment for a long time to come.
Second, what is your long term & short term plans? Are you single now? When might you be getting married? No children now but do you plan on having children? How many children? Who will you need to help take care of you & your family? Who might you need to take care of in the future or now?
Thirdly, what is your job prospect? Any promotion expected? Layoff? Change of jobs, relocation? Are you planning on retiring? All these will have an impact on your ability to qualify for a loan & pay the monthly payments. Where will your down payment come from? What issues in your credit need to be repaired? The length of your job, source of down payment, the ratio of your loan to price & your debt to income ratio all have a major play on your qualification for a loan. Are you planning on paying cash, or do you want to leverage your funds for maximum return?
Fourth, who has a say on your purchase? What is the market doing? is it a buyer's or seller's market? What strength do you have to insure you have the winning bid in a seller's market with multiple offers competing for the same house as we are in today? Or, is it a buyer's market where houses sit on the market for 5-6 months or longer? Strategize for your best interest ahead requires a good knowledge of the financial & real estate market condition.
Finally, who will you trust to guide you through the maze of buying a home? Your home will not only be your castle, it is also for most people, your largest asset. Make sure you find a professional who is actively working in the market but who has proven success. Sometimes, the most productive agent isn't the best for you. Think about will the agent you pick have the time to take care of your transaction well? Do they listen to you, understand your needs & concerns, care about you personally, know how to get what is best for you and protect you legally? Will your personality mesh? Will you enjoy working with the agent? Can you trust them to tell you the good & the ugly?
With a proper guide, buying your new home is a rewarding experience for years to come.