Our Real Estate Blog
There’s a lot of things to think about before buying a home--some financial, others personal. Most people tend to focus on one or the other. However, both are instrumental in choosing the right house and buying at the right time.
In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the ways you can determine if you’re ready for homeownership. We’ll discuss things like credit scores and down payments, but also important life factors like your career and future plans.
Getting your finances in order
There are a few simple things you can do right now that will help you understand if you’re financially secure enough to start looking at houses. First, you’ll want to look up your credit score.
Lenders strongly consider your credit when determining how much risk is involved in lending to you. A higher credit score can not only get you approved for a mortgage, it can lower your interest rate and make you eligible to borrow without having to pay private mortgage insurance.
The amount of money this saves seems trivial in the short term, but over the lifespan of your loan it can save you tens of thousands of dollars. So, read a free credit report and if your credit is lower than 700 start finding ways to improve your credit.
In the meantime, you’ll want to save for a down payment. While it’s possible to buy a home with a small or no down payment, it can come back to haunt you in the form of interest as you pay off your loan. Furthermore, many lenders won’t pre-approve you unless you make a down payment of a minimum amount (often 20% of the loan).
If you have a high credit score and you’ve saved for a down payment, another thing to check off your list would be proving your stable income. This can be difficult for the self-employed, contract workers, or people who have recently changed jobs.
Lenders want to see that you have a stable income history to ensure that you’ll be able to pay your mortgage each month. If you recently changed jobs or are in between jobs, it could be to your benefit to wait 3-6 months before getting pre-approved. In that time, you can continue to raise your credit and save for a down payment, further increasing your chances of getting a low-interest loan.
Preparing for homeownership
While the financial aspects of homeownership are important, so are the personal aspects. You’ll want to consider several life factors before buying a home.
First, think about your longterm goals. Do you want to live in the same area for the next 10 to 30 years? Will your career bring you to different regions or will you attend school somewhere else? These questions will help you decide if it’s a good time to buy or a better investment to save money while renting.
If you have a family (or plan on having one soon), you’ll also have to find a way to balance all of your living needs.
Finally, ask yourself if you have time for homeownership. Many people who are used to renting aren’t aware of the amount of time and money it takes to maintain a home. You’ll have more bills, you’ll have to mow your own lawn, and you’ll be responsible for maintenance of your home.
522 Merrimac St, Newburyport, MA 01950
19 Paige Farm Road, Amesbury, MA 01913
If you’re in the market to buy a home, one of the easiest ways to do it is to look for homes that are move-in ready. Out of all the options that exist for buying real estate, buying a house that’s ready for you is a no-brainer.
The problem for many real estate agents who are helping buyers find homes is that buyers aren’t sure what “move-in ready means. It means something different for everyone. Below, we’ll discuss some misconceptions and truths about move-in ready homes.
Move-In Ready Doesn’t Have To Be New
New construction homes are indeed move-in ready, but there are a few roadblocks to buying new construction homes. First, these homes take some time to get. Many times, buyers are purchasing them and waiting months to move in. There’s also less of a selection of locations. Most new construction homes can be found in the same area because that’s where the land is. New construction is certainly an option for people who have the time to wait to move into a new home.
There are plenty of existing homes that may not need much work and have been constructed in recent years. You may not have been able to pick the colors on the walls or the types of countertops you have, but the house certainly isn’t falling apart.
Move-In Ready Could Mean There’s A Little Work
Buying a fixer-upper is worlds different from purchasing a home that’s ready for you to live. Some move-in ready homes could use some work. The work involved is only cosmetic. The walls may need some painting or the house may need some cleaning up, but everything that needs to be done will be minimal. These are the types of projects that will be involved in buying a home that’s move-in ready.
The Benefits Of A Move-In Ready Home
You can enjoy the home right away
Things like appliances and other features in the house will be newer
The home will be in a sought after location
Sellers and builders will be motivated
It's easy to enjoy the home and find newer features in a move-in ready home. New constructions homes will have the latest in everything from appliances to security. The owner will have upgraded homes that are ready to move to. More modern homes also tend to be in desirable locations. All of this not only equates to better living conditions for you an your family but better value when you sell the home at a later date.