There are a lot of decisions and preparation necessary when you go into buying a home. From evaluating a home's repair and renovation budget to looking for the right home financing to fit into your household budget, be sure you take a look at the property's full cost evaluation. Here are some recommendations to help you do so to choose the right home to buy and make it a successful purchase.
Consider Any Work Needed
When you are preparing for a home purchase, you should recognize early on that any home you buy is not always going to be in perfect condition. Some homes may need more work than others and reflect their condition in their price and in the market's condition. For example, if you are searching for a home in a very hot seller's market where there are multiple buyers bidding on the same homes, there is going to be more competition for homes. As a result, sellers know that they don't always need to make little repairs and updates to get a high price for their home, so they are more likely to put it on the market as-is. This results in many homes for sale being sold as-is and in need of repairs.
Before you purchase a home, look at your abilities to make repairs yourself and also your budget for the repairs. If a home needs some new paint or other easy minor repairs, you may be able to do them yourself. You may also need to set up a home renovation "triage" and evaluate what projects in the home will need to be completed before you move in. This can include repairs, such as updating and repairing the plumbing or electrical or buying a new fridge. Then, you would look at issues that can wait until later, such as installing new carpeting or changing out the fixtures for new. Use this evaluation process to make sure you are up for the work, time commitment, and budget to make a home how you want it to be.
Evaluate Your Mortgage Options
Another important detail that you should look at before you make a purchase is how much you qualify for with a mortgage and how much you can actually afford. These two values may be very different from one another, so sit down with your spouse or partner to find out a true purchase limit that is within your comfort level. Then, apply for a mortgage to get your loan pre-approval, which will be based on your income and credit report.
Along with your loan pre-approval, be sure you also investigate the different types of loan programs and their approval criteria. For example, are you a first-time homebuyer, which will help you qualify for a lower down payment requirement? Or if you have a high credit score, you can lock in a low rate, but you may need to get a second mortgage to apply as a down payment to help you eliminate paying mortgage insurance.