At VIP Mortgage Inc., we’re here to assist you with every step of the mortgage process. From pre-qualification to final approval and closing, our mortgage broker services are comprehensive and the best in the business.
In fact, we regularly extend our expertise to clients even outside traditional mortgage-related areas. Many first-time homebuyers are unsure if they should be making the leap – who better to help advise on several important questions here than mortgage pros who deal with moves and new homes for a living? Here are several important areas to consider if you’re unsure whether the time is right to buy a home.
This is the first big decision to make, or the first big area to consider changing – most people who make the leap to homeownership are doing so as a move away from a rental situation. In the end, this generally comes down to your long-term goals.
Do you want more control over the customization and management of your living space? Owning is for you. Homeownership can also be less financially burdensome than you might think; not only are you paying less monthly than you may have expected, but you’re paying it toward your own investment rather than someone else’s. At the same time, you have to factor in areas like maintenance costs, time considerations (owning your home comes with more of a time commitment), insurance (more expensive for homeowners) and other details that could complicate the decision.
If you’ve decided buying is the smart move, you have to ensure you’re financially prepared to do so. Have you been saving up for a down payment? Have you researched the kinds of loans you might get approved for given your credit score and other financial information, and then estimated monthly payment amounts based on this research? In general, your monthly payments shouldn’t exceed 30 percent of your pre-tax income. As we noted above, you should also consider maintenance and insurance costs.
In addition, think about the current home market. Are interest rates favorable? Our mortgage brokers can help you if you’re unsure here, telling you if you’re in a good buyer’s market or if you should wait for conditions to change.
You can use your current situation to inform many of your decisions about the location and neighborhood you want to move to. Assess the positive traits in your current location and prioritize these – some of the most common crux points for buyers are proximity to work, neighborhood safety, and traffic patterns.
As you’re getting into the details of your home search, consider the amenities you’d consider “needs” and those that are more “wants.” If you have children, for instance, you absolutely need enough bedrooms for everyone to be comfortable – but you don’t need a separate bathroom sink for each child. That would fall under the category of want. Make a list of your top priorities here, and be as realistic as you can within your budget.
In general, the spring and summer periods are the busier times for buying homes on the market. Fall and winter are usually a bit slower, though this doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily see huge differences between them. The busy season may come with a bit more inventory but also more competition on the market, while the slower season could bring fewer homes on the market but also fewer competitors.
For more on deciding whether the time is right to buy a home, or to learn about any of our mortgage loan offerings, speak to the pros at VIP Mortgage Inc. today.
*The views and opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent the official policy or position of Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc.