Tips for First Time Home Buyers

October 19th, 2010 - 9:17 pm ICT by Angela Kaye Mason  

Oct 19 (THAINDIAN NEWS) If you are a first time home buyer, the market can be an exciting yet scary place. Here are a few tips to help keep you on the right track, and help you decide for sure if you are ready for this huge step.

1- Check the prices of several homes in the area in which you live, to get an idea of how much you can expect to pay for a home. There are also several websites, including Zillow and Homegain which will help you get a general idea of the prices in your location.

2- Use a mortgage calculator such as the one on Bankrate’s site to estimate how much your payment will be. Most people advise making sure that your monthly mortgage will not be over thirty percent of your total income.

3- Discover what the total cost for your home will be monthly. The cost of owning a home goes far beyond a mortgage payment each month. Taxes, homeowner’s insurance and upkeep should alll be taken into account. To have an idea of the maximum amount you should be able to pay each month, you can use MSN Real Estate’s home affordability calculator.

4- Get a definite amount which you be spending on closing costs. Many people overlook the upfront cost of purchasing a home, with such things as taxes, origination fees, homeowner’s insurance, etc. You can find out which the closing costs are averaging in your area with the closing cost survey at ‘Bankrate.com.

5- Take a close look at what you can afford in your budget, and see if you can actually afford a house. According to Fannie Mae, it is best to spend twenty-eight percent of your income on a home, although other places say thirty.

6- Discuss your plans with real estate agents in your area who are reliable and rooted. Ask of they think the prices on these homes will continue to fall or has the real estate market around you hit the bottom and is on an upward climb?

7- Always always always look at the whole picture. It is a good thing to buy a house, investment-wise, but to maintain it could get very costly. It is not like renting. There is no landlord to replace pipes, toilets, stoves, carpet, roofs, etc.

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