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The American Dream has always been to own your own home. The idea of home ownership can be scary though. In order for the purchase of your first home to be a happy experience, as it should be, you need the assistance of a professional Realtor, such as an NM Home Team Real Estate Agent to guide you through the steps.
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The first question to ask yourself is if you are financially and mentally prepared to handle all of the responsibilities that come with it. Although some believe that home ownership is the same as renting, there are major differences. Yes, you can now paint the walls any color you'd like, not have to worry about the pets that you have and landscape the backyard how you'd like, but you have to also consider these come with the responsibility of a mortgage, taxes and home upkeep.
While you may want that big 5 bedroom home that you've been eyeing, that may not actually fit into your budget. Sometimes your salary doesn't stretch as far as you'd like it to due to all the taxes and insurance that must be paid. If you buy a home that is outside your comfortable payment range, you will soon find that your home is now a burden. It is a better idea to buy a home within your means and in a few years upgrade to the larger home you originally wanted.
What is your debt-to-income ratio?
The debt to income ratio is something that mortgage lenders take seriously. What this ratio means is that your overall debt should not be more than 40% of your income and your housing payment should not be more than 30% of your total income.
What do you want?
There is more to finding your next home than the amount of bedrooms. How do you feel about lawn care? Would you rather do it yourself or pay a fee to have the Homeowners Association do it for you? Are you opposed to living in a neighborhood with an HOA? Are you going to be okay with a 2 story and walking up and down the stairs or is a single story necessary? These types of questions are important to ask yourself and discuss with your Realtor to better assist them in finding your next home.
A good agent can guide you and will work for you through the entire process. Our real estate team is here to help you find the right homes at an affordable price. We will work to help you locate the your first home and sure a successful transaction.
Remember what you need/want when we begin looking at homes. Sometimes it can become overwhelming or you can begin to look at things you may not really need in a home. Keep your need/wants list handy so you can rate each home we look at. Use a 1-10 scale as to how much they meet your needs then revisit the homes that rate higher than the others.
Putting in an offer. The process and paperwork can be overwhelming but our Real Estate Team can help you to decipher the "buyer", "seller", "inspections", deposits" and all other terms that may get confusing on the pages and pages of the contract. We will be happy to prepare everything for you then discuss in detail every aspect of your offer. After we submit, you can receive an acceptance or possibly a rejection or counter offer. We will help you to figure out the next step in the process after hearing back from the seller.
Inspections are important. A home inspector will check for any defects in the home along with looking for harmful materials like lead paint, mold, dry rot or asbestos. We will help to educate you on all inspections that could be done to ensure you opt to get all you feel are important. If you do not get an inspection prior to the purchase, you could be opening yourself up to problems that you may not want to deal with.
Your final walkthrough will be done just before closing the deal and meeting with the title company. We will meet you at the home to take one last look and ensure everything looks as it should prior to you signing your paperwork for ownership.
By Alfonso Salazaron
Contact us for more information about first time home purchasing.