Purchasing a home is a life-changing decision, and as such, should not be taken lightly. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to prepare for the homebuying journey, such as:
1. Determine Where You Want to Live
There is no shortage of high-quality houses available across the United States. Now, you just need to determine where you want to reside, and you can hone your house search accordingly.
Think about your long-term plans as you consider where you want to live. For instance, if you enjoy life in the big city, you may want to search for houses in or near the city of your choice. On the other hand, if you want to start a family in the near future, you may want to explore residences near parks and other family-friendly attractions.
Ultimately, it helps to narrow your home search to a few cities and towns. Because if you know where you want to live, you can quickly navigate the homebuying journey.
2. Establish a Budget
A budget is a must-have for any homebuyer, at any time. If you know how much you can spend on a house, you can search for residences that fall within your price range.
Oftentimes, it helps to meet with banks and credit unions before you launch a home search. These financial institutions can teach you about different types of mortgages. Then, you can select a mortgage that suits you perfectly.
Don't forget about home inspection, closing and other property buying fees, either. If you account for these property buying costs, you can ensure you have the necessary funds available to cover them.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a difference-maker for a homebuyer. He or she is happy to teach a homebuyer about the ins and outs of the real estate market. As a result, a real estate agent will help you become a homebuying expert.
Typically, a real estate agent offers recommendations and insights throughout the homebuying journey. He or she first will learn about you and help you establish homebuying expectations. Next, a real estate agent will help you kick off a search for homes in your preferred cities and towns. When you find your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase this home. And if your offer to purchase is approved, a real estate agent will help you navigate the final stages of the homebuying journey.
Furthermore, a real estate agent can provide assistance any time a homebuyer has concerns or questions. A real estate agent strives to help you make informed homebuying decisions. Thus, he or she will do whatever it takes to educate you about the homebuying cycle and ensure you are ready to find and buy your ideal residence.
Simplify the process of finding your dream home – use the aforementioned tips, and you can prep for the homebuying journey.
Deciding whether to submit an offer to purchase a house may prove to be difficult. Fortunately, we're here to help you weigh the pros and cons of submitting a homebuying proposal so you can make the best-possible decision.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you determine whether now is the right time to submit an offer to purchase a residence.
1. Evaluate Your Budget
If you believe you've found your dream home, you should take a look at your budget. That way, you can verify whether you'll be able to afford this residence both now and in the future.
Oftentimes, it helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start a house search. If you meet with banks and credit unions, you can learn about all of the mortgage options at your disposal. Then, you can select a mortgage that allows you to pursue a house with a budget in hand.
2. Consider Your Homebuying Criteria
You want to discover your dream residence as quickly as possible, but it is paramount to find a house that you can enjoy for years to come. If you have a list of homebuying criteria, you may be able to quickly determine whether a residence is right for you.
As you craft homebuying criteria, think about what you want to find in your dream residence. For instance, if you've always wanted to own a house on a beach, you can narrow your home search accordingly. On the other hand, if you would like to own a home that has an above-ground swimming pool but can live without this feature if necessary, you should include an above-ground swimming pool as a low-priority item on your homebuying checklist.
3. Assess the Housing Market
The housing market often fluctuates, and a buyer's market today may shift into seller's favor tomorrow. If you analyze the housing market closely, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's one. You then can decide whether to submit an offer to purchase or hold off on providing a homebuying proposal until housing market conditions improve.
To distinguish a buyer's market from a seller's market, it generally is a good idea to look at the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. You also should find out how long these residences were available before they sold. By reviewing this housing market data, you can assess the demand for houses in your city or town.
Lastly, as you debate whether to submit an offer to purchase a residence, you may want to consult with a real estate agent. This housing market professional is happy to provide honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations. As a result, a real estate agent can help you perform an in-depth evaluation of a home and determine whether to offer to buy this house.
Make an informed decision about whether to submit an offer to purchase a residence – use the aforementioned tips, and you'll be better equipped than ever before to decide how to proceed with any house, at any time.
When you think of your real estate budget, you should know that the more you spend on a home, the more overhead costs you’ll face. You’ll need to pay for things like real estate agent fees, attorneys fees, and other closing costs. The more you pay for a house, the higher all of these fees will be since they are usually percentage based. So, the overarching question is how do you budget and find a reasonable amount of money to spend on a home?
Your real estate agent may show you a myriad of homes across many different price ranges. Each property will have pros and cons. You can look at seeing these homes as an educational experience. Viewing properties could even help you hone in on what you want in a home. There are a few good reasons to look at homes above your budget range.
Housing Prices Could Rise Or Drop
When housing prices begin to rise, people tend to believe that they’ll keep climbing. The panic couldn’t be further from the truth. Eventually, the prices need to drop. The idea of buying a property and adding value is to make a bit of a profit back when you go to sell. You need to be prepared for anything when you head out to buy a home. Price changes will apply to you if you plan on living in your new home only for a specified period. If you don’t have plans in your future to move, you may not worry about home value changes quite as much when shopping for a property.
Mortgages End Eventually
If you plan ahead, you don’t have to pay mortgages for the rest of your life. If you keep moving and taking out 30-year mortgages, you could be making mortgage payments forever. If the average family stays in their home for around a decade, that's not a significant amount of time. Here, you’ll find a great reason not to max out your budget on a home. If you buy a less expensive house, you can get the mortgage paid off faster. You may even be able to take the mortgage out for a shorter term. Paying your home off more quickly allows your financial freedom. It’s simple, yet many people opt for a bigger house that they aren’t planning on staying in, causing a bit of a financial headache.
You Need A Rainy Day Fund
If you avoid maxing out your budget to buy a home, you’ll be able to save a bit for any emergencies that come up. You will be under less stress knowing that you have a little bit of money set aside in case your home needs major repairs, or you face a job loss or illness. In conclusion, it’s never a good idea to max out your budget on a home purchase.
Buying your first home is probably one of the biggest purchases you’ll make in your life. But, it does come with its advantages. Among them are tax breaks and deductions that you can take advantage of to save money if you play your cards right.
In today’s post, I’m going to cover some of the tax breaks and deductions that first-time homeowners should seek out this tax season to help them lower their tax bill.
While earning points is a good thing on the basketball court, it can be a financial drain on a mortgage. Mortgage points are what buyers pay to the lender to secure their loan. They’re usually given as percentage points of the total loan amount.
If you pay these points with your closing costs, then they are deductible. Taxpayers who itemize deductions on their IRS Form 1040 can typically deduct all of the points they paid in a year, with the exception of some high-income taxpayers whose itemized deductions are limited.
If you’re one of the many people who made a down payment of less than 20% on your home, odds are that you’re going to be stuck with PMI, or private mortgage insurance, until you pay off at least 20% of the loan balance.
The good news is that homebuyers who purchased their home in the year 2007 and after can deduct their PMI premiums. However, the state on premium insurance deductibles is something that frequently comes up in Congress, so homeowners should ensure that these deductions are still valid when filing their taxes.
Mortgage interest accounts for the biggest deduction for the average homeowner. When you receive your Form 1098 from your lender, you can deduct the total amount of interest you’ve paid during the year.
Another deductible that shouldn’t be overlooked by first-time buyers is local property taxes. Save the records for any property taxes you pay so that you can deduct them during tax season.
Home energy tax credits
Some states are offering generous tax credits for homeowners who make home improvements that save energy. There are a number of improvements you might qualify for, including things like insulation and roofs, as well as photovoltaic (PV) solar panels.
Many first-time buyers withdraw from an IRA account to be able to make a larger down payment on their home or to pay for closing costs. In most other cases, withdrawing from an IRA will count as taxable income. However, if your IRA withdrawal is used toward a down payment or closing costs, the tax penalty is waived.
Keep these tax breaks and deductions in mind this tax season to help you save money and get a larger refund.
For those who want to buy a home, it generally is a good idea to remain open to negotiating with a seller. That way, you can acquire your dream residence without delay.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you streamline a negotiation with a home seller.
1. Be Flexible
There is no telling how a home negotiation will turn out. Fortunately, if you maintain flexibility, you will be able to go with the flow throughout a negotiation with a seller.
Remember, a homebuyer and home seller share a common goal: to ensure a seamless transaction. If you are open to negotiating with a seller, both you and this individual can work together to achieve results that satisfy all parties.
Don't forget to maintain open lines of communication with a seller during a negotiation as well. By doing so, you and a seller can keep in touch with one another throughout a negotiation and avoid potential miscommunications that otherwise could slow down or stop a home purchase.
2. Establish Realistic Expectations
A home negotiation may work out in your favor or a seller's favor. Or, in the best-case scenario, you and a seller will come to terms that fulfill the needs of both sides. On the other hand, in the worst-case scenario, you may need to walk away from a home purchase altogether.
As a homebuyer, it is important to prepare for all possible scenarios. If you establish realistic expectations as you enter a home negotiation, you can plan accordingly. Then, you and a seller can work together to accomplish the optimal results.
You may want to study the housing market closely too. In fact, you can review the prices of available houses that are comparable to the one you want to buy to ensure your offer to purchase falls in line with the current housing market's conditions.
3. Work with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is well-equipped to help you handle a homebuying negotiation. Thus, if you work with a real estate agent, you can get the assistance you need to acquire your dream house at a price that matches your budget.
Typically, a real estate agent will learn about your homebuying goals and help you discover your ideal residence. Once you find a house you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase this home. Next, if a seller wants to negotiate the terms of a home transaction, a real estate agent is ready to negotiate with this individual on your behalf.
A real estate agent also will keep you informed throughout a home negotiation. Plus, if you ever have concerns or questions during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent is prepared to respond to them.
Want to acquire your dream house as quickly as possible? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble handling a home negotiation with any seller, at any time.