How much you can borrow will depend on your income, down payment, job stability, existing debts, credit references and payment history. Lenders usually use the following two qualifying guidelines to decide how much of a loan you can manage:
Your monthly housing expenses - mortgage payment, property taxes, insurance, etc. These expenses should be no more than 28 percent of your monthly gross income.
Your monthly living expenses and any long-term debts - utilities, car and school loan, child support, health and car insurance, etc. These expenses should be no more than 36 percent of your monthly gross income.
What You Want, What You Need
Here are some suggestions to help you prepare for your search.
Needs and wants list
Make a list of your needs and wants. Do you need an extra bathroom, a garage, a fenced backyard, lower utility bills? Do you want a fireplace, a short drive to work, a lakeside view, or maybe minimal yard work?
Once your list is made, go back over it and decide what is most important to your lifestyle. It may be privacy, creativity, or recreation. Decide which items are musts and which you are willing to give up. Assign each item a priority so that you will know what to look for as you begin house hunting.
Deciding where you want to live may be the single most important factor in choosing a home. Location affects your day-to-day living. Location to employment centers, shopping centers, schools, major traffic arteries, and other attractions are important. Evaluate location carefully. Location of a property is one of the most significant influences on value.
Your choice of location may be limited somewhat by the price you can afford. Even so, make sure you consider such things as:
prices of properties and property taxes,
distance to work, schools, shopping, and entertainment,
proposed changes in land use such as commercial shopping centers and roads, and potential hazards such as flooding and noise from a nearby airport or highways.
Type of home and lot
A single-family detached home is attractive to a lot of people because it typically provides more living space and land area than other types of living units. Typically the detached structure permits you greater freedom (less restrictions) on remodeling, expanding, painting, and altering the appearances of the structure.
If you don't like spending leisure time on yard work, consider garden or patio homes. These homes are set on small lots. Many garden home developments share common garden areas.
A condominium is another option. Condos and patio homes often offer shared greenbelts or membership in private recreational facilities such as swimming, golf, and tennis.
New vs. older homes
In selecting the type of home you want, consider new versus preowned homes. Preowned homes usually have established yards, and usually the neighborhood or subdivision is built-out. On the other hand, older homes may require more maintenance and need some repairs.
New homes are not without problems. Although they require less maintenance in the first few years, you may have to put in landscaping and call the builder back to correct faults. If buildings are still active in area, you may have to endure nearby construction.
Finally, consider size and style. You may already have in mind a wood-and-glass contemporary lodge with sun decks or a two-story Victorian mansion with a cozy attic. Or you won't know what you like until you see it. Either way, your Real Estate Professional will listen to your preferences and help you find the right home for you.
When you're looking to buy a home, you want to know that you're in the best of hands. With more than two decades of experience, we can proudly say we've learned a thing or two about real estate – and that knowledge helps you.
Real Estate Services
Whether you're a first-time home buyer or looking for a winter home, we have Realtors that will help you find your next home.
Buying a home involves more than finding a property that meets your needs – you also have to deal with the banks. Don't worry, we're here to help.
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