By Mariya Lysenkova
Maybe you’re tired of throwing away your cash on rent, or you and your hubby have just got a hankering for a bit more room. Don’t let home buying become like planning another wedding: Realtor Teresa Ford of FairView Homes in Washingtonville, NY, shows how to make the big purchase, stress-free.
Before BuyingFor up to several years prior to purchasing, “Save, save, save for that initial 10 or 20 percent down payment,” Ford says. In addition, make sure that you will always have at least three month’s worth of mortgage payments set aside in case of a financial emergency.
Choose a LocationLocation, location, location! Clichéd as it is, this remains the most important thing. So sit down with your spouse and discuss the issues that are important to you in choosing a neighborhood. Ford recommends going over the following main points as a first step:
Whatever you do, do not go for a bargain home in an unfavorable location. It is essential that both of you be absolutely comfortable with an area. After all, you will want to spend many happy years both on and off your property.
Get Your Mortgage SetDon’t be tempted to start searching for your dream home just yet. First, make a visit to a lender or mortgage broker to make sure that you’ll be able to pay for it.
To prequalify for a mortgage, credit-reporting agencies will determine how well you have paid your previous debts. If your immaculate credit history shows that you’ve paid your debts as agreed and on time, you will easily get credit and you have little to worry about. If you’ve had run-ins with bill collectors or bankruptcy, however, you may have to resort to what is known hard-mortgage financing or street money—credit with a sky-high interest rate.
Don’t be discouraged; it is better to be objective at the beginning so that you know what your options are.
Financing OptionsDon’t be confused by the spectrum of loans available. There are four basic types, and there is one fit for you. Look for a:
Find a RealtorBuying a home is a huge responsibility, so find someone trustworthy, honest and experienced who will help you get through it. A good broker will be knowledgeable not only about local homes, but also about the area’s demographics and facilities. He or she must also be licensed by the state. Find and stick to one broker that you are comfortable with.
Get Inspected“It is essential to hire an inspector for a re-sale home,” Ford says. “They are trained to know where to look for defects and to determine the probable remedy and cost.” This is especially important since the seller may not tell you about these problems, and the broker may not have noticed them. Ask your broker to recommend an inspector. Don’t try to save a few bucks at your safety’s expense.
The Fine PrintHere are a few other things to remember:
Mariya Lysenkova is an assistant editor at ModernBride.com.
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