Home Buying Readiness Checklist

Too often, people plunge into the decision to buy a house without thinking about long-term changes it will make to their life. There’s a right time to buy a house, and this points not just to financial readiness but also to emotional readiness. Going through a simple home-buying readiness checklist can help you determine whether you’re ready for this or not.Item #1: Have you checked your finances recently?
Financial readiness is obviously at the top of the list because no matter how emotionally or mentally prepared you are to buy a home, being able to afford it is still going to be a major consideration. Are you financially ready to buy a house? Take a look at how much you owe versus how much you make. Take a look at your financial status at the end of the month. Do you always end up short on money no matter how much money you make? Try to really look at your spending habits and see if you have a problem in that area. If you’re not sure how to determine that, list down all the things you spend money on every day and see where the money trail leads you. People who have not confronted their money problems usually have a hard time making monthly mortgage payments.Item #2: Have you decided where to look for a house yet?
Let’s say for example that you are thinking of buying South Charlotte real estate. Looking for a house that fits your requirements starts with finding the right neighborhood. Checking out South Charlotte homes for sale in a neighborhood that has good schools, is close to police and fire stations, and has good, accessible roads is a great start.Item #3: Have you gotten preapproved for a loan yet?
Getting preapproval for a loan is important because you need to know whether you are financially qualified for a loan. It is not an ironclad agreement between you and the lender. Not just yet. But it would give you an edge in terms of negotiations, and you’d want that when you find a property you want to make an offer on.Item #4: Have you thought about ongoing costs?
There are a lot of ongoing costs for home owners. Have you factored that into your future budget? Some people who have rented a house prior to owning one have no idea what things they would probably need to prepare money for in terms of ongoing maintenance for the house. It would be useful if you talked to family and friends who own a house and ask them what their usual ongoing costs are aside from insurance.Item #5: Have you saved enough for all upfront costs?
The biggest of all upfront costs you probably have to deal with is the downpayment, but aside from that, there’s also a host of other closing costs that you need to factor in to your savings plan. Lenders will give you a good faith estimate of how much you can prepare for the closing costs but it’s always advisable to save more than that to give you breathing room in case some costs go up and you need to cough up some extra cash.

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