Hello again, first time home owner Jeff here. In my last article, I urged potential home buyers to quit waiting and to find an agent. Well, I am back with more first time buyer advice and am excited to share my experience. So let’s just assume you have done exactly what I urged you to do, and you now have an agent. Now what? Good question and one that your agent will be able to help you with but keep in mind, we are trying to get a handle on what we can expect in this process. This is what happened to me…
After speaking with Brad, and understanding the real estate market basics it was time to make some tough decisions, at this point there were just two big ones:
1. Where should I buy? Any business person will tell you Location, Location, Location, and Real Estate is no different. Here are a few items to keep in mind when choosing a location.
· Commute: There is generally a price to be paid on living in or near the city, drives are shorter but costs are higher in many cases. If you don’t mind the drive there can certainly be more house out there for your buck.
· Schools: Whether you are a family person or not, resale value can increase or decrease based on the schools in the area. It is always good to ensure there are quality schools in the home’s boundary.
· Noise: Is there substantial noise coming from the whistle factory next door? Noise can be a factor for resale or general living conditions.
2. What can I afford? This is a huge question and a lot of it depends on how much you make for a living. A general rule is for your monthly mortgage to not exceed 28% of your monthly income but this is different for everyone. Once I got in touch with Brad, he was able to connect me with a Mortgage Specialist. We did a qualification call and assessed a realistic number for a loan.
Once these two major questions were answered we were able to begin our quest for a home. Now I know things aren’t always so simple, and time is not always readily available, but I cannot urge you enough, take the time to answer these two questions, and you will set yourself up for a successful home buying experience. If you are having trouble, don’t worry, ask Brad, he is always willing to give an honest answer.