Purchasing a house is one of the biggest purchases you will make in your life, and thus it is important to make sure you are ready for such a large investment. While the decision to buy will fall mainly on your shoulders, there are a few things you should think about to ensure you are ready to buy.
First and foremost, when you start thinking of purchasing a house you should always make sure you are debt-free. Not only will carrying debts lessen your chances of being pre-approved for any real estate purchases but carrying debt could also cause financial difficulties later down the road.
You may be tempted to purchase a house right after securing a high paying job, however, in some cases, this won’t allow you to be approved. When applying for a home loan you are required to provide stable work history, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be approved if you’ve acquired a new position, however, showing your longevity and stability with a current or old employer is vital in your chances of approval.
It is easy to see purchase programs that only require 5-10% as a down payment and assume that is easily achievable. However, even a small percentage ends up being thousands and thousands of dollars in addition to closing costs and fees. Prior to house hunting or applying for pre-approval you should always have required funds for the purchase set aside in a savings account. Example: 5% down on a $350,000 house = $17,500 in addition to appraisals, closing costs and other needed fees.
Unfortunately purchasing a home with poor credit will require a higher down payment and result in high-interest rates, should you be approved at all. While in some instances this may be your only option, you should always try to improve your credit prior to any real estate purchase to ensure you get good rates as they will last the lifetime of your loan unless you choose to refinance.
While you can purchase a home and turn around and sell it a few years later, this isn’t always the best investment option as it gives you more opportunities to lose money. When purchasing a home, it is always best to try and have a 5, 10 or even 15 year plan. You will pay more interest in the first few years of your loan, this ensures that your principal balance will only diminish slightly until you’ve been in the home for more than 5 years.
Purchasing a home should be an exciting time in your life. Make sure to sit down and go over all the items mentioned above, talk to an agent, a lender as well as friends and family to discuss the potential purchase prior to jumping in headfirst.
If you’re currently thinking about purchasing a home or condo in Panama City Beach, have questions regarding the home buying process, or would like to speak to one of our agents, please feel free to contact our office at any time.
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