Buying a house is probably the most expensive purchase any of us will make in our lives. There are going to questions before settling on the perfect home. It is important to make sure you and your significant other get the answers to all of your questions before buying that dream home.
What is Your Dream Home?
Before you get on the internet and look for Macomb county homes for sale or some other location, you should each make a list of what makes the perfect home. Some question can include:
- Which room is the most important, is it the kitchen, the den, a master bedroom?
- Why do you want a new home?
- Does the commute time to work matter?
- What do you want your new home to look like?
What Is Your Total Budget?
Owning a home is more than the sales price or monthly mortgage. There will be property taxes, homeowners insurance, mortgage insurance, upkeep, maintenance, and possibly homeowners association fees.
You will need to figure all of these associated costs of owning a home into your budget before getting pre-approved. Once you know what your total budget is going to be, you will have a better idea of what to look for in a new home.
How Much Debt Do You Have?
Knowing your total debt is an important question. Mortgage lenders will look at your debt-to-income ratio (DTI ratio). Your debt includes your combined monthly payments for debts from credit cards, car loans, personal loans, student loans, and other loans.
Calculate your DTI ratio by dividing your combined monthly debt payments by your monthly income. For example, your combined monthly debt payment is $1,000, and your combined gross income is $5,000 per month. Divide $1,000 by the gross income of $5,000, and your DTI ratio is 0.20 or 20%.
This is your DTI ratio before a monthly mortgage is applied. If, for example, a monthly mortgage of $1,000 is included, the DTI ratio increases to 40%. Most mortgages have a maximum DTI ratio of 43%, though some prefer 36% or lower. Getting your debt lowered is crucial to qualifying for a mortgage.
What Can You Afford?
If you have your sights set on a 4-bedroom, you might find you can only afford a 3-bedroom home. To get the best mortgage rates and terms, you should aim for a down payment of at least 20%. But if you don’t have that much saved up, you can still get a mortgage.
Federal Housing Administration loans require a down payment of 3.5% as long as you have a minimum credit score of 500. You can get a VA loan for 0% down with a credit score of 620.
Before Signing the Papers
Write down every question you have before buying a house. You don’t want to be surprised after you’ve signed the papers. Some of the questions might be:
- Why is the seller selling?
- How old is the roof?
- Is the electrical up to code?
- Are there manufacturer warranties on any included appliances?
- What’s included in the sale, fixtures, window coverings, etc