Are You Ready For Home Ownership?
Owning a home may be your dream, but in order for the purchase to be the happy and satisfying experience it was meant to be, you need to ensure that you are financially and mentally prepared for the responsibilities that come with it.
Some people have a notion that home ownership is like renting, but with the power to have pets and paint the walls whatever color you like. However, while these privileges are available to homeowners in most municipalities, they come with the responsibilities of a mortgage, taxes, insurance and home maintenance. Preparing for home ownership requires you to take critical stock of your finances and your expectations.
Questions for Prospective Homeowners
Are you ready to buy?
Owning your own home is about more than just being able to decorate any way you like; it's about being prepared to maintain your home over the years, realizing that part of your income and time will go towards repairs and maintenance. It's about being willing to take the risks of home ownership with a realistic expectation of the rewards.
How much can you afford?
It can be discouraging to find that your salary won't stretch as far as the home you want to own. However, sacrificing a huge part of your income just to pay the mortgage can very quickly make home ownership a burden rather than a point of pride. It's better to buy a modest home now and look at purchasing your "dream home" in a few years.
What is your debt-to-income ratio?
This is something that lenders take very seriously. Your overall debt should not be more than 40% of your income, and your housing debt should not be more than 32%. What 32% of your income will buy depends on where you want to live. In rural or downtrodden areas for example, it can buy a very comfortable residence and ample acreage. In highly sought-after urban areas however, it may not even buy a 400 square foot bachelor suite.
What do you want?
Do you like the idea of cleaning your own gutters? Do you shudder at the thought of lawn care? Would you rather just pay a fee every month and have everything done for you? Would obeying rules about when you can have your garbage cans out bother you, or do you want to live in a neighborhood where everything is 'just so'? The answers to these questions can help you narrow down the search for the right type of property for you.
We Can Help
You need the best REALTOR® who will work hard for you. Kim Stevenson is dedicated to helping you find the right home, at the best price. She wants you to find the home that will make you happy and successful in real estate ownership.
When you hire Kim to help you buy your first home, she will want to know what you are looking for and how much you can afford. Then she'll find a way to merge these two priorities and find a residence that you'll enjoy owning.
Keep your objectives in mind when visiting a home. Sometimes the idea of owning a home can overwhelm your practical sense, so keep your feelings in check. Keep a list handy of the features that you need and want in a home, and judge each home by the list instead of by details that could distract you from your goal. When you're alone with your agent, you can go over the pros and cons of each home. She can help you stay on track while still keeping our eyes out for a great property.
Engage the services of a good real estate lawyer. Don't know a real estate lawyer? Kim can recommend one! Interview them to ensure that you get someone you can work with.
Make the offer. This can be a maze of "buyer", "seller", "chattels", "deposit", and "completion". Kim will be happy to prepare the paperwork and go through it with you before submitting it. Remember, the seller may reject or counter your offer, so even at this late date, avoid setting your heart on the home you hope to own. At the time you write an offer, you will need to provide a deposit cheque to the buyer's brokerage. The cheque secures the purchase and is refunded if conditions haven't been met.
Get all necessary inspections done. A good home inspector will check for signs of harmful materials like asbestos, lead paint and mold. They'll also check for evidence of pests, faulty wiring and leaks. This is a crucial part of the home purchase. Not getting an inspection done means that you could be stuck in a home with issues you weren't aware of and no recourse other than to pay for the repairs. Inspections will cost $400-$500, but again, this is more than worth it in the end. There are several inspectors in the area that Kim would be happy to recommend.
From the first interview that determines your requirements to the moment that you receive the keys, she can help you with the complicated process of buying a home. Don't hesitate to contact Kim to find out more about how she can make the home buying process easier!
Contact us for more information about first time home purchasing.