Is This The Right Time?
If you’ve made the decision to become a homeowner, make sure you have your financial ducks in a row. How is your credit? Do you have much debt or a cash cushion? You’ll want to connect with a lender to learn about your “debt to income ratio”, get approved for a loan, and understand which mortgage works best for you.
One – Time Costs:
Down payment: The down payment is always a high priority in our efforts to purchase a home. You can figure 20% of the purchase price for the down payment. However, loans guaranteed by FHA or VA offer down payments as low as 3% to 5%, but usually add a private mortgage insurance premium to your monthly payment.
What it Takes to Close: To help prepare for closing, you’ll receive a good-faith estimate ahead of time with the estimated closing costs.
The mortgage: It pays off to compare and get rates from more than one lender. If you can reduce your interest rate by even half a percentage point, it can potentially save you thousands of dollars a year.
Don’t be surprised by the monthly payment: Your monthly mortgage note includes the principal and interest payments. However, sometimes, escrow accounts are are set up to help cover property taxes, insurance, and other annual fees. Make sure you have a good understanding of what your monthly expenses will be so there are no surprises.
Day to day and the unexpected expenses: Maintaining your home, such as yard work, is an expected expense. However, unexpected repairs/expenses such as plumbing, new appliances, or the roof, can catch you off guard. Be prepared with a cash cushion for these types of surprises. This can prevent you from having to dip into your “vacation fund” or adding on credit card debt.