With 2018 drawing to a close you may be thinking about what your housing future looks like in 2019. We’ve assembled a quick list to help you find your dream home in the New Year.
#1: Are you REALLY ready?
Buying your first home is a huge step and one that requires significant planning. Be sure that you can answer “Yes!” to the following questions.
- Do you plan on staying in Central Texas for the next 5-10 years?
- Are you secure in your career.
- Will you be able to keep up with the repairs and maintenance (along with surprise expenses) that come with home ownership?
#2: Identify what you need.
Finding your perfect dream home is challenging and if you expect to find “The Perfect Home” you are setting yourself up for disappointment. When you are looking at resale homes it’s helpful to have a list of absolute deal breakers and little things you are willing to compromise on.
Some of the things that we see a lot from our clients are:
- Square footage or a specific number of Beds / Baths.
- Willingness to repair or remodel
#3: Understand what you can afford.
We work with some great lenders that are able to inform you of the true costs of homeownership. Unfortunately, it’s not just your mortgage payments that you need to consider.
You’ll need to have some kind of down payment for most loans, ideally, around 20% of your homes purchase price to avoid paying Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) which is an extra fee added to your mortgage.
You also need to consider a secure budget for maintenance and other surprise costs that WILL crop up. Think about your emergency fund, will it cover a roof repair or a foundation cracking? A good rule of thumb is to set aside 1 percent of your homes purchase price each year to cover these unexpected expenses. This equals out to roughly $80 per month for every $100,000 of the value of your home.
#4: Gather documents
While our team will do a great job of keeping you in the loop on what paperwork is required it can all be a little daunting. Take a few days and put together these items.
- Proof of Employment
- W2 Forms for the past 2 years (or 1040 tax returns if you’re self-employed)
- Bank and Investment Account statements
- Rent and Utility payment history
- Contact information for landlords from the past 2 years.
#5: Get prequalified or preapproved by a lender
We’ve touched on this a little bit but prequalification is A MUST in a fast moving market like Central Texas. You don’t want to miss out on a great home because you haven’t gotten a prequalification letter.
Using the list provided in Step 4 contact one of our Preferred Lenders. They will walk you through a quick and easy process to find out what you can really afford after considering your income and debts. In Central Texas, many sellers won’t consider your offer unless you are prequalified for a loan. Everyone else will have their prequalification letter so you should too!
#6: Assemble your support team
Buying a home is the biggest financial decision that you’ve likely made up to this point and having the right people at your side makes all the difference in whether it goes well or not. The JWTeam has specialists that can walk you through each and every step of the process so that you are informed and confident. Call us today to schedule your free one on one Buyer Consultation Session.
Call us at 512.303.3244 or drop us a line: [email protected]