Should you buy a home or continue renting?
Buying a home is a great investment but are you prepared for everything that comes with this commitment? Here are some of the top things to consider. If you have any questions or are ready to begin your home buying process, please do not hesitate to contact us.
OWNING A HOME
Do you plan on owning it for at least 2 years? If not, this may not the the right time for you to purchase. Also take into consideration that you will need to maintain the home and you should be aware of the age and condition of all major systems (Heating and air, appliances, roof etc. – see home inspection and home warranty below) before agreeing to purchase it. You will have other expenses such as lawn care, minor repairs, taxes and homeowners insurance (included in your mortgage payment), as well as any Home Owner Association (HOA) fees.
Talk to a lender before seeing any homes so you know what you can afford. Depending on your savings and credit score, they can inform you about the loan options that are available to you. We have a list of reputable lenders that we work with on a regular basis that we would be happy to refer you to.
At the very minimum you will need 3%~5% of the purchase price to use as a down payment. If you are putting down less than 20% be aware that your mortgage payment will be slightly higher because it will include Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). This will drop off once you have 20% of the value invested in the property.
In addition you will need roughly $3,000 to cover the closing costs of purchasing a home. These fees are often negotiated with the seller when writing the purchase agreement.
After calculating all of the costs associated with purchasing a home, you will want to make sure you have a healthy fund of emergency savings. Your lender may even require you to have at least 2 months of mortgage payments in savings in order to approve your loan (talk to your lender for full details).
Home Inspection – After the purchase agreement has been negotiated and signed off on by all parties, you may have the cost of $400-500 for a home inspection. This is a fee that is paid directly to the inspector. While an inspection is not required to purchase a home, it is a very important that you that you invest in the home inspection so that you can reduce the risk of having major issues once you move into your new home.
Home Warranty – A home warranty is a great option to help protect your interests when you purchase a home. It covers the major systems of your home for the first year and costs about $400-500 with a $75-100 fee each time you have a service call. This is an optional expense that can be negotiated with the seller in the purchase agreement.