Are You Ready For Home Ownership?

Owning a home is the American Dream, but it comes with certain financial and emotional responsibilities that not everyone is ready for.

Some first-time homebuyers think that home ownership is akin to renting, but with the ability to let your decorating imagination run wild and surround yourself with pets. In that aspect, you’re correct, but there is more to home ownership than just the fun stuff. You’ll have additional financial responsibilities such as a house payment (that may be more than what you previously paid in rent) insurance, taxes and the cost of home repairs and maintenance.

The first steps toward purchasing a home of your own starts long before you hop into the car and drive around seeking For Sale signs. These steps require you to take critical stock of your finances and your expectations.

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Questions for Prospective Homeowners

How much can you afford?

Working with a lender is the very first step to take to determine how much you can afford to spend on a home. Without this knowledge, looking at homes for sale is an exercise in futility and a waste of both your time and your real estate agent’s.

Shopping for homes without knowing how much you can spend also sets you up for disappointment when you look at homes you can’t possibly afford: those that you can afford will pale in comparison.

Finally, many homeowners won’t even look at a contract that isn’t accompanied by a lender’s pre-approval letter.

Your lender will crunch some numbers, taking into account your income and your outgo. This gives her a baseline figure to which will be added interest, taxes and insurance to come up with a final figure that the bank is willing to loan you.

Not sure how much you can afford? Get an estimate with our complimentary mortgage calculator.

Are you financially prepared to buy?

It’s one thing to find a lender willing to loan you the money for a home. It’s another to have the cash reserves that homeownership entails.

Owning your own home means that you can no longer rely on a landlord to fix those things that go wrong. You know -- the leaky roof or the backed-up toilet. Sure, you can hire someone to fix them, but can you pay for that service?

Factor in maintenance costs when determining whether or not you can afford a home of your own. As a general rule, plan on setting aside 1 percent of the purchase price of the home each year for maintenance.

Kris Lindahl Team can help

The Kris Lindahl Team with Kris Lindahl Real Estate is committed to helping you find the right North Oaks home, at the best price.

From our initial meeting to determine what you want in a home to the moment you’re handed the keys to your new front door, we’ll be right beside you, helping you navigate the sometimes choppy home-buying waters.

Don't hesitate to contact us to find out more about how we can make buying your first North Oaks home easy.