Buying a new home is a big decision, whether it’s your first home or not. It can be both exhilarating and terrifying! There are a lot of factors to consider and while you can find information online to help you navigate nearly every stage of the home buying process, only you can answer the most important questions.
Before you begin your homebuying journey, take time to consider these important things.
How long will you stay?
The amount of time your plan to live in your home is an important factor to consider. While you should be prepared to stay in your home for between three to five years minimum, if you think your stay will be less than that, it’ll probably be more beneficial to rent.
How much can you afford?
Buying a house is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll make. It also has a significant impact on your finances so it’s important to make sure you can truly afford your home. Avoid being ‘house poor’ by taking time to review your finances (including your credit report) to determine what you can truly afford. Remember, your housing cost is more than just the mortgage payment; make sure to consider home insurance, property taxes, and maintenance costs to begin. Shop around for mortgage lenders to find the optimal interest rate and loan terms and get preapproved to understand how much a lender is willing to give you. Keep in mind you don’t have to borrow the full amount a lender has offered!
What are you looking for?
New homes come in different sizes, types, and features. It’s important to nail down the type of home you want, whether it’s a condo, townhome, traditional single-family home (and whether it’s attached or detached!), or a unit in a multi-family building. In addition, you should identify the features that are your Must-Haves and Nice-To-Haves. Knowing what you need in a home will help you find the right home in your price range or know if you need to make adjustments.
How secure is your job?
How stable is your job? Have you been there for at least a year? Do you see yourself staying for the next few years? You can’t predict the future but mortgage companies consider the length of employment when reviewing your loan application.
What’s your why?
What is your motivation for buying a home? Are you looking to settle down and establish roots in a particular location or is this just another milestone you think you’re supposed to achieve? There’s no rule that says you must own a house by a certain age. Don’t rush into buying a home because it’s “what you do next.” Make sure your motivations and values are aligned with homeownership.
And it’s okay if they don’t! Maybe buying isn’t the right option for you right now but it could be in the future.
Deciding to purchase a new home is a major decision and there are a lot of factors to consider before hitting the market. Don’t rush this decision! By carefully consider these important questions, you’ll be sure you’ve made the right decision for you.
Once you’re ready to buy a home, visit us at SummerHillHomes.com to learn more about our communities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. We have several new communities coming this year including Monte Sereno, Bellaterra, Portico, and Laguna Vista. Contact our preferred lenders and they will walk you through how to get pre-approved with one of our preferred lenders!