Can I Really Afford to Buy a House? – Part 4

Back to Part 3.

Part 4: Where do you go from here?

This all depends. There is a lot more to buying a home than the cash required to purchase and the monthly payment. Along with homeownership comes the responsibility to maintain and improve your home. You need to address everything from snow removal and lawn care to heater maintenance and roof replacement. There is an additional budgeting requirement for home maintenance and repair that many of us put off until something actually needs to be fixed. This is a significant difference from renting an apartment where someone else tends to be responsible.

Do you have money in savings and can you afford to put it towards a home purchase? Perhaps an FHA loan is an option for you or maybe you can find a conventional loan with a higher interest rate in place of mortgage insurance. There will always be a tradeoff to consider, higher cost here in place of a lower cost there. Less up front while paying more over the life of the loan. What matters is that you find the approach that addresses your unique needs while considering that there is likely to be more than one potential solution.

Also consider that I did not discuss the possibility of a seller assist, which can be used to offset closing costs incurred by buyers. A 3 to 6% assist can significantly reduce the upfront costs and potentially eliminate a major barrier to home ownership, but you cannot always count on them.

City vs Suburb? No one can make that decision but you. What is the difference anyway? Location, taxes (income, real estate, school, sales), services, schools, housing inventory and more. If you are ready to buy a home, you probably already know where you want to buy it.

Step 1 – Get in touch with a mortgage lender. Don’t assume that you’re qualified based on your internet research. Talk to a lender and get a legitimate mortgage preapproval. Why find the perfect house just to miss an opportunity when someone else buys it before you sort out step one?

Step 2 – Call me at 215-520-7166. Seriously, you’ve already been looking at homes on the internet for months (or more). You know where you want to live and what you are looking for in a home, now it’s time for a real estate advisor to help you find THE home, advise you on pricing, negotiate and navigate the transaction. Let me be that advisor, I won’t let you down.

Step 3 – Buy THE right home for you.

Just 3 steps…clearly an oversimplification, but you need to start somewhere. Don’t assume you’re ready when you haven’t had someone run the numbers for you.

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