Bob Barcelos' Blog
Buying a house is never a simple decision. Aside from all of the financial aspects of purchasing a home, there are numerous life-related considerations you’ll need to think about. So, it comes as little surprise that diving head on into the house hunting process can be stressful and taxing to the home buyer.
With all of the different numbers to keep track of--a down payment, closing costs, credit scores, interest rates, and so on--it’s easy to get lost in the finer details of your budget. This can lead to even more stress as you try to navigate your way through getting approved for a mortgage and shopping for the perfect home.
In this article, we’re going to give you some tips on how to maintain your budget and reduce stress throughout the home buying process. That way, when you do finally find the house you’ve been waiting for, you’ll be able to move forward confidently.
Trust the process
Many first-time home buyers enter the real estate market with little knowledge or experience of how things work. Any newcomer to such a huge and complex industry is bound to be flustered with all of the different options available to them.
However, much of the home buying process is relatively standardized. Real estate agents all make roughly the same commission, lenders use similar algorithms to decide how much of a loan you’ll be approved for, and real estate contracts contain legal safeguards and contingencies to ensure that you and the seller’s interests are protected.
When shopping for a mortgage or getting pre-approved, it’s a good idea to ask friends, family, or read reviews online to find someone you know you can trust. From there, rely on the experts to lead you through the process.
Have a long-term plan
Much of the stress and anxiety around buying a home comes from the uncertainty of the future. Sitting down with your family and significant other and deciding your long-term goals for homeownership is a good way to build confidence and know that you’re making the right choice.
Determining things like location, the number of years you want to live in a home, and what priorities are the most important (school districts, neighborhood safety, etc.) will help you make that plan a reality.
Use the tools at your disposal
If you’re reading this article, you already have started to take advantage of one of the most important resources you have, the internet. Look up real estate terminology you’re unfamiliar with, read up on the different types of mortgages, and take advantage of free online calculators to create what-if scenarios to find out what you might end up paying in closing costs and interests.
It’s also a good idea to check your credit score for free online. You can check your official reports once per year, but for simple credit checks you can look it up each month for free.
Knowing that you’re in good hands with a lender and agent, that you have a basic understanding of industry terms, that you have a long-term plan, and that your finances are in order will all help set your mind at ease and give you confidence as you move forward toward homeownership.
Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases that you’ll ever make in your lifetime. You’ll spend decades of your life making mortgage payments to pay off your home loan. Buying a home is more than just simply finding a place to live. It’s also a financial decision. Your home helps you to build equity, gives you tax deductions, and helps you to have some security in your financial future.
One of the biggest questions that you’ll have when you buy a home is “How much can I spend?” To answer this question, you’ll need to dig a little deeper.
Do You Have Money For A Down Payment?
The standard amount of money that you’ll need for a down payment is 20 percent of the purchase price of a home. If you don’t have the money for a full down payment, you’ll need to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). This could add up to be an extra cost of hundreds of dollars per month in additional insurance payments on top of your mortgage and every other kind of expense that goes along with buying a home. You’ll need to take the time to save up for a down payment if you’re a first time homebuyer. If you already own a home, the equity that you have in that home can help you with the down payment.
What Are Your Other Financial Responsibilities?
There’s more to buying a home than just the monthly mortgage payment. You’ll need to get insurance, pay taxes, and have some money set aside for repair and decorating costs. You’ll need to look at your monthly income to find out just how much you can afford on a home. You should take an honest look at your lifestyle and existing expenses in order to determine a comfortable monthly mortgage payment for you.
Know Your Credit Score
Your credit score will be a major factor in how much house you’ll be able to afford. Your lender will use your credit score and credit history to help determine what type of interest rate you’ll get and how much they’re willing to lend you in order to buy a home.
Understanding what you can afford for a home purchase is crucial before you even start shopping. It’s a good idea to meet with a lender to get pre-qualified. This is different than getting pre-approved. Your lender will give you a general idea of how much you can spend on a home without digging too deep into your finances. Getting pre-qualified is a great place to start when you’re looking at the numbers of being a homeowner.
Build-to-rent is a major term right now for investors. The industry has seen a serious leap in interest in just the past year, making nearly everyone in the real estate space sit up and take notice. We'll look at the special nature of these properties and which attributes make a property more valuable than another.
The Hot Spots
Build-to-rent generally refers to a single-family property built to be used by renters rather than owners. It's popular because it's difficult to profit off of a new build, especially when you take into account the price of the land, materials, and permit costs. The areas that are exploding with these properties tend to be affordable cities with plenty of available infrastructure.
Atlanta, Houston, Charlotte: these hot spots are attracting young renters who may not have a sizable down payment saved for a new house, but they're still willing to pay for the right amenities. It's making it relatively easy for investors to recoup their money (and then some).
The History of Build-to-Rent
This trend got its start after the recession churned out countless foreclosures and short sales, but has since morphed into its own asset class. Once home prices started to creep back up, investors saw that there was plenty of money to be made in renting even after the economy returned. Today, the build-to-rent industry is largely driven by new homes. Developers may build several dozen homes in a single area, making it easier for property managers to respond to renter requests and perform regular maintenance.
What's Behind the Success
The most successful build-to-rent properties are those in highly popular areas that would otherwise be too expensive to the everyday renter. Less than half of all millennials have any kind of substantial savings to put toward homeownership, and even the Baby Boomers are starting to turn toward renting (whether they need to or not). In addition, home appreciation has slowed over the past few years and new tax rules don't exactly make it an open-and-shut case that owning is the best choice available.
Investors who have the opportunity to get involved in build-to-rent will likely be happy they did. The key is to look for properties that are sensible in nature. Avoid those in areas that make it difficult to build (either through expensive permits or restrictive building codes). Opt for properties in nice areas made with affordable, durable materials. This will cut back on maintenance and increase your profits in the long run.
The homebuying journey is exciting, particularly for an individual who is pursuing a residence for the first time. Ultimately, there are many questions that a buyer should consider before he or she searches for a house for the first time, and these include:
1. What is my "dream" home?
Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the homebuying journey involves defining your dream residence. Because once you define your dream residence, you'll be able to narrow your house search and move closer to purchasing your first home.
Think about what you absolutely require in a new home. For example, if you want to own a house in a region where the weather is hot and humid year-round, you may require a central air conditioning system. Or, if you want to enjoy a fast, easy commute to work, you may want to pursue residences close to your office.
2. How much can I afford to spend on a house?
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is essential. Because if you have a mortgage in hand when you begin your house search, you may be able to gain a competitive advantage over rival homebuyers.
To obtain a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can teach you everything you need to know about fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages.
In addition, don't hesitate to get expert insights into assorted mortgage options. The longer you wait to get pre-approved for a mortgage, the longer you may need to wait to kick off your home search. Thus, you risk missing out on a potential dream house if you fail to get your home financing in order.
3. Do I need to hire a real estate agent?
Hiring a real estate agent is a must, especially if you plan to embark on the homebuying journey for the first time. In fact, a real estate agent can help you quickly and effortlessly navigate the housing market and discover your ideal residence in no time at all.
Typically, a real estate agent will offer comprehensive assistance at each stage of the homebuying journey. He or she first will meet with you, learn about your homebuying goals and help you craft a homebuying strategy. A real estate agent then will keep you up to date about houses that match your criteria and set up home showings. And when you find a home that you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer and negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf.
Let's not forget about the advice that a real estate agent will provide, either. A real estate agent is unafraid to be honest with you and will provide feedback throughout the homebuying journey. Also, if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.
Take the guesswork out of finding and acquiring your first house – employ a real estate agent, and you can receive plenty of support as you move along the homebuying journey.
Buying a new home is a joyous occasion, one that should be celebrated by family members and friends. However, telling people about a new home purchase sometimes can be tough, particularly for those who may be leaving roommates or others behind.
Lucky for you, we're here to help you alleviate the stress and worry commonly associated with telling family members or friends about a new home purchase.
Here are three tips to ensure you can remain calm, cool and confident as you inform your loved ones about your decision to buy a new home.
1. Prepare As Much As You Can
Purchasing a house is a life-changing decision, and as such, your loved ones may have concerns. Therefore, you should plan ahead for any questions that you could face about your new house.
Why did you decide to buy a home in a particular city or town? How much did you pay for a house? And what does your home purchase mean for your loved ones? These are just some of the questions that you should prepare to face when you share the news about your new home purchase with loved ones.
Also, it is important to realize that you and your loved ones won't always see eye to eye. And if a family member or friend disagrees with your home purchase, accept his or her opinion and move forward.
2. Take a Proactive Approach
When it comes to informing others about your home purchase, it is always better to err on the side of caution. Thus, taking a proactive approach will ensure you can directly inform the most important people in your life about your home purchase.
Communication is key between family members and friends. With a proactive approach, you can inform your loved ones about your homebuying decision and minimize the risk that they will hear the news from a third-party.
Don't leave anything to chance as you determine who to tell about your home purchase. If you believe there is a risk that a loved one will be left in the dark about your new home, be sure to reach out to this individual directly.
3. Understand the Emotions Involved with a New Home Purchase
A new home purchase represents a new opportunity for you and your family. If some family members and friends feel left out of your upcoming move, many emotions may bubble to the surface.
Keep the lines of communication open with family members and friends – you'll be glad you did. That way, loved ones can share their thoughts and feelings about your new home purchase and understand you will allocate the time needed to hear them out.
If you need extra help as you get ready to tell loved ones about a new home purchase, don't be afraid to ask your real estate agent for assistance, either. This real estate professional understands the intricacies of purchasing a home and can provide expert guidance throughout the homebuying journey.