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Are You Prepared For Home Ownership?

To own a home may be a dream come true, but if you want the purchase of the property to be as happy and satisfying as it ought to be, financial and mental preparation are key for first-time home buyers to prepare themselves for the responsibilities that come with it.

At times, some individuals have a preconceived notion that homeownership is identical to renting with the addition of being able to own pets and paint walls any desired color. Though these benefits do come along with homeownership in most municipalities, they also come with new responsibilities: A mortgage, taxes, and home maintenance being chief among them. Preparing for homeownership requires prospective buyers to critically analyze their finances and expectations.

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Questions for Prospective Homeowners

Are you ready to buy?

Owning a home comes with a set of responsibilities, and, as such, requires being prepared to attend to maintenance and upgrades over the years. Part of your income and time will go towards repairs and maintenance, but homeownership means being willing to take the risks of owning a home while bearing in mind realistic expectations of the rewards.

How much can you afford?

Learning that your salary can't stretch enough to pay for your dream home can be a discouraging revelation. However, sacrificing a huge part of your income just to pay the mortgage can make homeownership a burden that drains your wallet, rather than a source of pride. It's better to buy a modest home more within your means, while setting your sights to the future, knowing you'll be better prepared to buy your dream home when that time comes.

What is your debt-to-income ratio?

Lenders take the debt-to-income ratio of prospective home buyers very seriously. The overall debt of an applicant should not exceed 40% of their income, while housing debt should not exceed 32%. 32% of a prospective home buyer's income varies drastically, not just from person to person, but from location to location. In rural or less central areas for example, it can buy a very comfortable residence that meets the criteria for many individuals. However, in highly sought-after urban areas, 32% of someone's income may not even be able to pay for a small bachelor suite.

What do you want?

There are a lot of options in terms of location and amenities for prospective home buyers. Would you prefer to do all your lawn maintenance yourself, or would you rather pay a monthly fee? Would you prefer an orderly neighborhood where everything is "just so," or does the thought of having someone dictate how long your trash cans can be on the curb make you grimace? Answering these questions, and others, can help to narrow down the search in searching for the right property to suit your tastes and preferences.

We Can Help

You need a good agent who will work hard to help you navigate the waters of a first home purchase. Our real estate team is dedicated to helping you in your search for the ideal home at the ideal price. We want you to find the home that will make you happy, and to ensure that your endeavor into real estate is as successful as possible. When you hire us to help with the purchase of your first home, we want to know what you want and how much you can afford. Then, we'll do everything we can to merge these two priorities to find a residence you'll enjoy owning.

Keep your objectives in mind when visiting a home. Particularly when buying a first home, sometimes seeing so many houses can overwhelm a buyer's practical sense. Try to keep any feelings in check and focus on the features that you want and need in your home. If necessary, keep a list handy to reference and keep you on track. Judge each home home that you see by the list instead of by details that the house uniquely offers that could distract you from your goal. Once you've left the property, you can go over the pros and cons of each home. A trained agent can help new homebuyers stay on track while searching for a great property.

Engage the services of a good real estate lawyer. As professional real estate agents, we can recommend local real estate lawyers who might be a good fit for you and your needs. Interview them to ensure that you get someone you can work with. The legalities involved in the transfer of land and home ownership can be confusing and difficult to navigate, and a lawyer is one of the best defenses against future legal troubles. A good lawyer can charge several hundreds to over a thousand dollars for their services, but the thousands of dollars saved in legal fees later on makes this a good expense.

Make the offer. Making an offer on a home can be a maze of processes and steps befuddling and rapid-fire enough to make anyone's head spin. To assist in the process, we at Portland Central are happy to prepare the paperwork and go through it with you prior to submission. Remember, the seller may reject or counter your offer, so plan to keep your options open and don't set your heart on a home straightaway.

Get all necessary inspections done. A home inspector will check for signs of harmful materials like asbestos, lead paint and mold. They'll also check for evidence of pests, faulty wiring and leaks. This is a crucial part of the home purchase, as a home inspection can reveal issues with the house not apparent to the naked eye. Having a home inspection done offers a means of recourse and an opportunity to negotiate with the seller should any issues arise. Inspections typically cost a few hundred dollars, but the service they provide is invaluable. Speak with one of our agents for a recommendation of local home inspectors in your area.

Do a final walkthrough before closing the deal. We're happy to do a final walkthrough alongside you before the final signing to ensure that everything is agreed upon before the house is officially closed on.

From the first interview that determines your requirements to the moment that you receive the keys, we can help you with the complicated process of buying a home. Don't hesitate to contact us to find out more about how we can make the home buying process easier!

Contact us for more information about first time home purchasing.

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