First Time Buyers
Homeownership Is A Centuries-Old Aspiration
Homeownership is rooted in tradition and deep-set family values. The intense emotion associated with buying a home is still one of life’s greatest enjoyments, experienced tenfold when you're a first time home buyer.
With heightened feelings come affordability concerns.
Here are some things to consider if you’re thinking of buying for the first time:
- The down payment isn’t everything.
Closing costs and future expenses come with any property so be sure you can afford more than just the amount you’ll be putting down for a home. Experts suggest having 1-3% of the purchase price in savings to cover any additional fees, improvements or unexpected expenses that may arise.
- Expect the best, plan for less.
Mortgage specialists recommend holding at least 6 mortgage payments in the bank in case of job loss or other unforeseen circumstances.
- Devise a short-term plan for home improvement.
For starters, work with the seller or builder to determine repairs and improvements; a thorough inspection will help this process along. Once you know the cost of repairs and improvements, you can budget the necessary funds many months in advance.
Your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Texas Realty agent can determine the best & most financially friendly way to achieve your homeownership dreams. Would you like to speak to us directly? Call: 512.483.6000.
Questions for Prospective Homeowners
Are you ready to buy?
Buying your first home is about more than just being able to decorate any way you like; it's about being prepared to maintain your residence over the years, realizing that part of your income and time will go towards repairs and maintenance. It's about being willing to take the risks of home ownership with a realistic expectation of the rewards.
How much can you afford?
It can be discouraging to find that your salary won't stretch as far as the home you want to own. However, sacrificing a huge part of your income just to pay the mortgage can very quickly make home ownership a burden rather than a point of pride. It's better to buy a modest home now and look at purchasing your "dream home" in a few years.
What is your debt-to-income ratio?
This is something that lenders take very seriously. Your overall debt should not be more than 40% of your income, and your housing debt should not be more than 32%. What 32% of your income will buy depends on where you want to live. In rural or downtrodden areas for example, it can buy a very comfortable residence and ample acreage. In highly sought-after urban areas however, it may not even buy a 400 square foot bachelor suite.
What do you want?
Do you like the idea of cleaning your own gutters? Do you shudder at the thought of lawn care? Would you rather just pay a fee every month and have everything done for you? Would obeying rules about when you can have your garbage cans out bother you, or do you want to live in a neighborhood where everything is 'just so'? The answers to these questions can help you narrow down the search for the right type of property for you.
We Can Help
You need a good agent who will work hard for you. Our real estate team in Austin, TX is dedicated to helping you find the right home, at the best price. We want you to find the home that will make you happy and successful in real estate ownership.
When you hire us to help you buy your first home, we want to know what you want and how much you can afford. Then we'll find a way to merge these two priorities and find a residence that you'll enjoy owning.
Keep your objectives in mind when visiting a home. Sometimes the idea of owning a home can overwhelm your practical sense, so keep your feelings in check. Keep a list handy of the features that you need and want in a home, and judge each home by the list instead of by details that could distract you from your goal. When you're alone with your agent, you can go over the pros and cons of each home. We can help you stay on track while still keeping our eyes out for a great property.
Engage the services of a good real estate lawyer. We can recommend several lawyers in the area who might be a good fit for you. Interview them to ensure that you get someone you can work with. The legalities of transferring land ownership can be dodgy, and a lawyer can be your best defense against future legal troubles. A good lawyer can charge several hundred to over a thousand dollars for their services, but the thousands of dollars saved in legal fees later on makes this a good expense.
Make the offer. This can be a maze of "buyer", "seller", "chattels", "deposit", and "completion". We'll be happy to prepare the paperwork and go through it with you before submitting it. Remember, the seller may reject or counter your offer, so even at this late date, avoid setting your heart on the home you hope to own. You'll probably have to write a deposit check to the seller's broker that proves the seriousness of your offer.
Get all necessary inspections done. A home inspector will check for signs of harmful materials like asbestos, lead paint and mold. They'll also check for evidence of pests, faulty wiring and leaks. This is a crucial part of the home purchase. Not getting an inspection done means that you could be stuck in a home with a bad case of black mold and no recourse other than to pay for its removal. Inspections will cost a few hundred dollars, but again, this is more than worth it in the end. There are several inspectors in the area that we'd be happy to recommend.
Do a final walkthrough before closing the deal. We'd be happy to do this with you to make sure that everything agreed upon is completed prior to the final signing.
From the first interview that determines your requirements to the moment that you receive the keys, we can help you with the complicated process of homeownership. Don't hesitate to contact us to find out more about how we can make the home buying process easier!
Questions About Austin Real Estate?
We're one of the top 10 brokers in the country, and we can help you explore real estate in Austin, TX and surrounding areas. Our agents knowledge and experience in the market can help you reach all of your home buying and selling goals.
Give us a call at (512) 483-6000 or click on the email button below for more information about Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Texas Realty!
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