What First Time Home Buyers Should Consider
Look at your budget. Is your budget in a place where you can take on additional expenses, or would your mortgage payment need to be about the same as what you're currently paying for rent? Based on that, you'll be able to estimate how much of a mortgage you can afford. You can use a mortgage affordability calculator online like this one to help you determine how much of a loan you can take out based on how much of a monthly payment you can afford. You can also look at a rent versus-buy calculator to estimate how long it would take for your investment in your home to repay your closing costs. A word of caution, these calculators are a starting point, don't let them be the deciding factor for your home-buying journey. If you have more questions about payment costs, be sure to talk to a mortgage loan officer.
Another part of your budget to consider when buying a home is the cost of home repairs in addition to your mortgage. When renting, landlords are responsible for paying for repairs to your property. When you own, you need to pay for any repairs or improvements in addition to your mortgage. Does this mean your payment would actually need to be lower than what you're paying in rent right now?
When you buy a home, you'll need to pay a down payment and pay closing costs. Some first-time home buyer programs can let you put down as little as 3% of your purchase down or less. Closing costs are usually 3-6% of your purchase price. Furthermore, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon all have different first-time home buyer programs and grants that can help you with a down payment if needed.
Beyond your closing costs, you'll also need to consider the cost of moving into a new place. Do you have friends or family that can help you move? Do you need to rent a truck? Or do you need to hire movers? While the cost of moving shouldn't deter you from making the decision to purchase a home, you have to remember that you can't use all of your savings for your purchase because there are frequently extra expenses when you move into a new home that are easy to forget about.
What do you need in a home? Do you need three bedrooms, two bathrooms, or everything on one level? Is being close to a school a priority for you? You might have visualized what you want your dream home to look like, but have you thought about the specifics? This is where we suggest you partner with a Real Estate Agent because they are experts in your market and can help you find the home that suits your needs perfectly.
While this can seem like a lot to consider, it's important to remember that you have a team working with you when buying a home. If you feel like you're ready to buy or have more questions that you're not finding answers to, we encourage you to speak to a Mortgage Loan Officer. We can provide you with insight and clarity that you might not find just by searching online. You can get started on your application today with any member of our mortgage team, or you can request more information by filling out this form.