The beginning of the year is when many people start to think about buying a home. The weather will get better soon and more houses are becoming available. But whether you’re buying your first home or you’re a seasoned owner, thinking about and answering these 7 questions will get you started on the right path to finding your home sweet home.
1. What elements are must-haves in your home and what can you forgo? Homes have hundreds of characteristics. And you probably won’t find them all in the house you buy. Narrow your needs down to 3-5 characteristics and make a buying decision based on those. Don’t forgo a great home because you don’t like the color of the carpet. Those little things can be negotiated into the purchase.
2. Can you commit to staying in one place for a few years? If you plan on moving in a year or two, home ownership may not be for you. Experts say a minimum 2-year stay will allow you to gain back the value from your home. Any time before that and you risk losing money.
3. How much home can you really afford? Take the time to figure out what you can afford per month, including property taxes and insurance. A lender or even an online mortgage calculator should help with this. It’s amazing how low monthly payments are with interest rates being so low.
4. How do you plan to find an agent? The relationship between you and your agent is important, so do your research and find someone you trust. Zillow.com has online reviews of real estate agents, or ask your friends for their recommendations.
5. How does the home buying process work? Sure, you’ve heard family and friends throw around words like “appraisal” and “closing costs” but do you truly understand the process? Don’t be afraid to stop into Nevitt Real Estate to pick our brain. We love giving free advice!
6. Do you know your credit score? This is a MUST for buying a house. A 5 minute phone call can give you the answer.
7. Where will you be getting your mortgage from? In our area many homes qualify for USDA no money down loans. But only certain lenders work with that program. Realtor’s work with dozens of lenders and can suggest the best ones in the area.
By answering these questions you’ll be on the right path to home ownership. 2015 should be a good year for the housing market and could be the year you find your dream home. Stop into Nevitt Real Estate and we’ll help you with every step along the way.
Information provided by Adam van Lin, Nevitt Real Estate, 702 First Ave., Perry, 515-465-2200, www.perryiowahomes.com.