Organization is the key to finding the home you want while spending the least amount of time and energy.
Find out how much house you can afford. Investigate this before you go house hunting. I can refer you to a several excellent loan officers who can help you determine how much of a down payment you can afford, along with monthly payments you can handle.
Make a list of everything you want in a home. Is a master suite important? How many bathrooms and bedrooms? What size lot or acreage do you need? Do you prefer a one-level or multiple-story home? Are schools or access to public transportation important?
Keep good notes as we look at homes and look for the pros and cons of each home. Assess the home's condition and see beyond the cosmetics. I always recommend having a home inspection contingency as part of the offer so that you have a professional analysis of the homes condition. I have a list of home inspectors that I can recommend.
As your agent I will keep you informed of any new listings that come on the market in your price range. I'm astute at listening to your needs and showing you homes that I feel meet your criteria.
Before you start looking at homes, it's a good idea to find a target price range that you can afford. A mortgage lender will want to make sure you can handle the down payment, plus a monthly mortgage payment made up of the principal, interest, taxes and insurance.
Interest rates and personal finances will influence the amount you can afford. For a quick estimate of a monthly mortgage payment for which you may qualify, use the following worksheet. You can also use the mortgage calculator for any home posted on this website. But remember it is always good to talk to a lender before you start looking for a home. I can refer you to lenders suited to your specific financial needs.
- Annual gross income (before taxes):
- Divide by number of months:
- Monthly gross income:
- Many lenders will not allow more than 28% of your monthly Gross income on housing:
- Maximum monthly housing
- Expense allowance:
- Many lenders will not allow you to spend more than 36% of your Monthly Gross income on long-term debt
- Total monthly debt, not including housing:
- Add housing allowance form above:
In addition to the mortgage you borrow from a lender, normally you will be required to make a cash down payment. Conventional loan down payments range anywhere from 5% to 20%, depending on the requirements of your lender. There are also specialized loan programs, such as FHA that allow for as little as 3% down for those who qualify. A higher down payment often allows the lender to be more flexible with a loan package, including interest rates and closing costs. In addition to the down payment, you will need to have enough cash available to pay closing costs.