Is Home Ownership Really For You?
While buying your dream home is an exciting process, we want to make sure that you are prepared both mentally and financially for what home ownership means and the new responsibilities to expect.
Often times when someone has been renting, they have the impression that home ownership is basically the same, except you get to paint the walls and have pets! Well, with the benefits of owning your home come other responsibilities which are not always considered, such as property taxes and maintenance. Before you buy a home, it is vital that you correctly set your expectations and take a detailed look at your finances.
Questions Your Should Be Asking Yourself
Am I ready to buy?
It is important to come to terms with the fact that home ownership is not just about having the freedom to decorate the home to your standards. It will be your responsibility to maintain your home now, and you need to be prepared to set aside a portion of your income for maintenance. Always keep in mind there are great benefits to home ownership, but also the possibility of risk.
What can I afford?
Sometimes people can be disappointed that their salary can't buy their dream home. But, stretching your finances to buy a home can very quickly turn the pride of home ownership into a source of stress. Why not buy the home you can easily afford today so that you can save up to buy the home of your dreams down the road?
What is my debt-to-income ratio?
The debt-to-income ratio is something a lender looks at very closely. As a rule of thumb, it is recommended that total debt should be less than 40% of your income, and your mortgage should be less than 32%. But what that percentage can achieve when buying a house is made up of a number of factors. Living further outside of town or in a up-and-coming neighborhood is a great way to find a deal on a property with a lot more square footage and acreage. On the other hand, if you look in the trendy, most desirable sections of downtown, you're should be prepared that the space might not be quite as comfortable.
What am I looking for?
Are you comfortable with performing your own maintenance and yard work around the house, or would you rather have that taken care for you in a condo building? Is paying a monthly fee for access to a community swimming pool more appealing than cleaning one in your backyard? Do you feel more comfortable having the rules and guidelines of a Home Owner's Association govern your home and your neighbors? Determining these answers will go a long way towards focusing your home search.
We Are Here To Help
Peace of mind is vital during the home buying process and you want a trusted advocate as your real estate agent. Our real estate team will be focused on assisting your with your home search and achieving the best price Austin's market will allow. Our goal is to ensure a stress free home purchase which leaves your fully satisfied as you unlock your front door for the first time.
When you choose Austin Homes to assist with your first time home purchase, we'll need to know your budget, must-haves and wish list. We'll immediately begin searching for homes in Austin which fit those criteria and find your new home!
Stay Focused and remember the guidelines you set out at the beginning of your home search every time you view a new home. It is very easy to become emotionally attached to a house which feels right even though it doesn't match your objectives. It is often helpful to maintain a list of needs and wants while viewing a property as a practice to rate each home against what you've seen previously. After viewing a home, discuss the pros and cons of the property with your agent, who is also there to keep you on track. This feedback helps us determine if there are any aspects of the search we need to adjust on our end.
Make an offer. The terminology of a purchase offer is often very complicated and confusing to someone reading it for the first time. Our agents are experienced with the legalese of these documents and happy to assist you in preparing the paperwork and clarify any terminology before the offer is submitted. Do your best to not attached yourself emotionally to the house, even at this stage. Remember the seller can always reject or counter your offer, so the deal is not done! If the offer is accepted, be prepared to write checks for option and earnest money to secure the home.
Do the necessary inspections. Our agent can recommend and schedule a trusted inspector who will check for any potential issues with the property. Typically, these are minor issues, such as a non-functioning garage door opener, or misaligned sprinkler heads. But more serious problems such as pest damage, electrical issues and leaky roofs or plumbing may be found. They'll also check for hazardous materials such as mold, lead paint, asbestos. These sorts of problems are while it is critical to get a home inspection. If you skip this step, you can be stuck with any unnoticed problems and have no legal recourse to get them remedied. An inspection only costs a few hundred dollars, but its value can be much, much more.
Perform a final walkthrough the day of closing. Your agent will arrange with you do schedule a final walkthrough of the property before signing the final paperwork. This step ensures that any repairs required by the seller during the inspection period have completed and that there was no damage as a result of the sellers moving their belonging out.
Austin Homes will be there by your side from the beginning to the end of this process, from outlining your home search criteria to unlocking the door of your new home for the first time. We will assist in making the home buying process as easy as possible, so if you're interested in our services, contact us and we'll be happy to answer any more questions you may have!
Contact us for additional information about buying your first home.
The information being provided is for consumers' personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing.
Based on information from the Austin Board of REALTORS® (alternatively, from ACTRIS) from February 19th, 2020 at 5:30am CST. Neither the Board nor ACTRIS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. The Austin Board of REALTORS®, ACTRIS and their affiliates provide the MLS and all content therein "AS IS" and without any warranty, express or implied. Data maintained by the Board or ACTRIS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.
All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified.