Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned real estate investor, buying a home is an exciting process. However, there’s also a lot to consider when you decide to buy. So before you begin your search for the perfect property, here are four questions you should ask yourself.
1. What do I want?
Take the time to figure out what type of property you want to buy. From single-family and multi-family homes to condos and co-ops, there are many different options on the market, and it’s important to choose the type that best fits your needs. Figuring out the town or area of the county you want to live in is equally important. While a property might have all of the amenities you’re looking for, factors like schools and proximity to work can impact the overall home-owning experience. A good idea is to list out and prioritize your needs (e.g. Large backyard, great school system) before you begin your search.
2. What can I afford?
The rule of thumb is that you should never spend more than 30% of your monthly income on a mortgage payment. An alternate rule states that you can afford to buy a property that runs about two-and-a-half times your annual salary. For a more tailored look at what you can afford, use an online mortgage calculator to estimate what your monthly mortgage payments would be if you bought a home today, or meet with a local lender who can better prepare you for what you can afford, how much to expect to put down as a down payment, what programs you may qualify for or that best fits your needs, etc. Contact us if you would like a recommendation.
3. Am I financially prepared?
A few months before you start searching for a home, review your credit history and make sure it is in good standing. Get copies of your credit report, ensure that it’s accurate, and fix any issues you discover. You’ll also want to get pre-approved for a home loan when you’re ready to start looking, which will put you in a better position to make a serious offer once you find the right property. Pre-approval from a lender is based on your credit history, debt, and income. Speak to your lender about your ideal timeline. A good lender will put you on the right track.
4. Am I ready to be a homeowner?
Being a homeowner is more than just paying your monthly mortgage. There are additional responsibilities that come along with owning your own home. If something breaks, you can’t just call the landlord. The lawn maintenance is your responsibility (unless you’re part of a community that takes care of that for you). Taxes, water, sewer, insurance….all of those things need to be taken into consideration. Are you ready for that level of responsibility?
If you answered Yes to #4, CLICK HERE to connect with one of our agents to discuss next steps and the path of owning your very own home in the Berkshires!
Did You Know: Having a buyer’s agent working on your behalf doesn’t cost you anything! Buyer’s agents are paid by the Selling Agent, and they will help you every step of the way.