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Buying your first home as a family can feel like a leap of faith. It’s a major decision that will have a ripple effect on your life. You want to make sure it is a positive change that will only bring you more happiness in the future. The key is to understand when it is time to grow in a place of your own.
You Want a Home that Will Cost You Less or Equal to Your Rent
If you have been renting, you have been giving your money away to a landlord with nothing to show for it. You aren’t likely to improve your credit score even if you have been paying your rent on time for years. You won’t have any equity. In the end, you have no say if you will get to stay in your rental property. If the owner decides to sell it, you could be out with little notice. Buying your own home will offer you many benefits. You will have freedom to do what you want on your property. You will be able to tap into the value of your own home. No one can make you leave as long as you pay your mortgage. Taking all of those benefits into consideration, choose wisely when you are checking out Greater Lehigh Valley real estate. If you price your home right, it will cost you less or equal to the amount you have been putting in your landlord’s bank account.
You Need Room to Grow
One of the most important reasons any family buys their own home is because they need to expand. If you know a baby is on the way or you are hoping for a nest that is bursting with children, your shoebox apartment isn’t going to cut it anymore. Think about how many members are in your family now. Consider the possibility of how many additions there may be. As you go house hunting, put the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and closets high on your list. Look for homes that will offer you flexibility. A basement or attic could be converted into more living space. An office could be a nursery. Make sure you choose something that is the right fit for you.
Your Finances are in Order
Buying a house isn’t something you can do on a whim unless money isn’t an object. You need to be in good shape financially. A healthy credit score of 700 or more will be in your favor, helping you to get approved for a mortgage. It will also be to your advantage in getting you a lower interest rate. Take a good look at your debt-to-income ratio. It should not be any higher than 40. 36% or lower is ideal. Take care of any large debts if at all possible. You should not buy any expensive purchases, such as a car, when you are serious about buying a home. Hold off on opening any more credit cards as well. You should have a sizable savings account as well. Expect to make a down payment of 20% on the house of your dreams. You’ll need more money at closing time. Expect to pay between 2% and 5% of your home’s asking price when you are about to sign on the dotted line.
Take the time to write down what you want in your first home. List all of your current expenses. Include the price you can afford, the area you like best, and features your home must have. Work closely with a real estate agent to canvas the area until you walk in the door of a place that says you are home.