The chicken? Or the egg? Which came first continues to fuel debates. But when it comes to home buying, which should come first? The house or the mortgage?
Experts agree you should fit your mortgage to your finances, not to a house. Understanding how much you can afford is key. It will not only help you determine your price limit, but it will also help you understand if your budget can cover a new roof or furnace in the home you may be considering. You also need to understand whether or not you are financially prepared to cover monthly expenses for general upkeep and utilities, which can run hundreds of dollars per month.
Start by getting a handle on your finances. What do you earn? What do you spend? How much do you have in savings? Answering these questions will help you learn whether you are financially ready for a mortgage. Make a budget and use free online tools and calculators to determine how much you can afford.
Once you understand how much you can afford, the next fit you'll have to assess is the right home for your budget and your lifestyle. That's all about location, location, location. It's a key factor in determining how much you can afford, how long your commute will be, and if you'll be near good schools. Some points to consider: suburban or urban? How close is it to your job? And is it near good schools and public transportation? Size also matters.
Remember, getting pre–approved before you start shopping can help you act fast and make a confident offer so talk to your lender. Other tips for making an offer include, acting fast, making a solid offer and being prepared to negotiate.
Continue following the Spring Homebuying Season Blog Series and visit My Home for the full run down on all things homebuying! Maybe you'll even end up in a new home with space enough for a chicken or two.