Deciding it is time to buy your first home is very exciting. In many situations, this new venture is also quite nervewracking. Buying a home is such a large investment that it is important to be prepared financially. There are a few steps that anyone beginning the home buying process should take before they jump into something they are not financially prepared for.
- Have a clear picture of your financial situation. Before you do anything, it is important to make an updated list of all monthly income and expenses. This will help you determine how much you can spend on the house each month.
- Find a house you think you could reasonably purchase and use a mortgage calculator to help you determine what the monthly mortgage payments might be for that house.
- After you figure out what the monthly mortgage payment might be, you may want to call an insurance agent in the area and ask about how much homeowner’s insurance would cost for the house. In addition, you should find out what you’d likely pay in property taxes for that area.
- Don’t forget about closing costs! There are annual surveys online where people in different areas report their closing costs so you can get an idea of what you might pay.
- Make sure the home wouldn’t cost you more than 28 percent of your total income on housing.
- Talk to realtors and a real estate attorney to help you find your first home.
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