Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned real estate investor, buying a home is an exciting process. However, there’s also a lot to consider when you decide to buy. So before you begin your search for the perfect property, here are four questions you should ask yourself.
What do I want?
Take the time to figure out what type of property you want to buy. From single-family and multi-family homes to condos and co-ops, there are many different options on the market and it’s important to choose the type that best fits your needs. Figuring out the town or neighborhood you want to live in is equally important. While a property might have all of the amenities you’re looking for, factors like school district and commute times can impact the overall home-owning experience. A good idea is to list out and prioritize your needs (e.g. large backyard, proximity to highways) before you begin your search.
What can I afford?
The rule of thumb is that you should never spend more than 30% of your monthly income on a mortgage payment. An alternate rule states that you can afford to buy a property that runs about two-and-a-half times your annual salary. Because Quinn & Wilson has a great working relationship with Annette Dougherty of The Mortgage Network we encourage you to talk to her early to see what you can afford. Even if you’re just starting the process she can help you “get focused”.
Am I financially prepared?
Whether you are working with a lender like Annette yet or not, you will want to start focusing on your credit history. Get copies of your credit report, ensure that it’s accurate, and fix any issues you discover (Annette can help you with all of this too). It’s likely that you’ll also want to get pre-approved for a home loan, which will put you in a better position to make a serious offer once you find the right property.
How do I make the best bid possible?
This is where working with a local firm like Quinn & Wilson is so valuable! We know the area and we can help guide your opening bid based on the sales trends of similar homes in the area. We will help you review the comparable home sales online, and we can point you toward resources you may wish to review as we craft your offer. At the end of the day, it will be the number you are comfortable with that goes on your offer, but we will do what we can to make sure it is the best number possible.