The best part of buying a home is often the shopping around: visiting open houses, surfing websites and touring model homes. Determining your must haves and what is on your wish list is also an exciting exercise. However, practical issues need to also be considered. How much can you afford? Do you have enough saved for the down payment? What other costs are involved? Will you qualify? Financing is a necessary part of the home buying process and it does not need to be a harrowing experience. With all of the mortgage rule changes that have recently taken place it is even more important to ensure that you are informed. Where to start?
I recommend sitting down with a mortgage professional early in the process to determine whether you are in a good position to proceed and what is the price range you should consider. There are many determining factors that will influence the outcome of this discussion: your employment and income, source of down payment, credit history and current debt obligations (to name a few). Examining all of these factors will not only narrow down a price range but may highlight any stumbling blocks. If there is an issue or concern that arises around financing, a solution can be identified and a plan put in place to move you toward your goal.
I do know that real estate agents prefer clients who know that they are in a good position to move forward should a “dream home” be discovered. Looking outside of your price range or having to back away from a deal because of an issue that could have been prevented or addressed earlier is frustrating for all parties. Being prepared will save you time and ensure that there will be no surprises.
The more informed you are about your own situation will mean that you can look with confidence and find the perfect home for you!
Happy House Hunting!