Picture this. You are a successful lady in her mid to late twenties. After graduating from high school, you enroll in a prestigious university and graduate with honors. You then find a job and now have a striving career.
One day, out of the advice of a close friend, you decide to join a high-end matchmaking site. Lucky for you, you find a handsome, successful young man, and the two of you hit it off. He soon proposes, and you decide to get married and start a family.
The first step to making your dream a reality is finding the perfect house. But you don’t know anything about mortgages, tax benefits, credit lines, home features, and so on. So what do you do?
Many Americans find themselves wanting to buy a property but not having the proper tools to do so. If you are one of them, here are a few things you should consider.
Current Financial Status
Unless you have a lot of money and can buy a property outright, buying a house means getting a mortgage. You can do this either from a bank or another reputable financial institution. Whether you get approved depends on a variety of things. First, the bank will look at how much money you currently have in savings. As a rule of thumb, to qualify for a mortgage, you should at least have 20% of the total property value. This will serve as a down payment for your apartment or house.
Second, you need to have a stable job. In terms of length, the number of months you will be required to work vary. Some banks won’t lend you any money if you have been working as a full-time employee for less than six months. Others tend to be a bit more lenient and need only three. No matter the case, the longer you have been working, and the better the company is, the greater the chances of getting approved.
Finally, the financial institution you are applying to will look at your habits and financial health. Do you have a lot of credit card debt? Are you paying off college or any other types of loans? And if so, have you been making your payments on time? These are but a few of the questions you should ask yourself before filling out a mortgage application form.
Finding the Right Home
There are many ways for you to find a home. One of the most common ones is to hire the services of a real estate agency. Another is looking at listings, either online or in a newspaper or magazine. A third one is to contact people in your social networks and ask them for a referral.
Whether you choose one or the other depends on you and the amount of legwork you are willing to do. If you decide on working with an agency or individual agent, make sure the corporation or individual representing you is honest, straightforward, and reliable. Whereas a good agent will listen to your specific needs and give you the most useful advice, a bad one will recommend whatever he can find to make an extra buck or two.
Another aspect to consider when looking for the right home is having the ability to think long-term. Of course, there is no guarantee that you will stay in the first place you buy for the rest of your life. Things change very quickly, and there might be one or many reasons for you to move.
Even so, think about a house with enough room if you’re planning on having children. Decide on how many floors it should have and why. Take a look at the neighborhood, how convenient or inconvenient it might be, and speak to the neighbors.
It doesn’t hurt knowing as much as you can before making one of the principal decisions in your life.
When buying a house or apartment, the two most important factors are taking a look at your finances and making sure you find the right place. Everything else is simply a result of these.
Most probably, your income will increase as you continue in your career. You might get promoted to a managerial position with higher levels of responsibility and better benefits. Yet, as a first-time buyer, you need to be realistic. Don’t go for a place you cannot afford, even if your mortgage gets approved. Build slowly and expand with caution. Remember that debt is not an asset, and the less you have, the better.
As for the place, picture yourself living there for a long time. Can you do it? Is the house you’re looking at more than four walls and a roof? If so, congratulations. You’ve found the ideal place for you and the other members of your family.