Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Ready to Buy?

Q: I am so tired of renting! What do I need to do to prepare for buying my first home?

A: Decide how much home you can afford. Generally, you can afford a home equal in value to between two and three times your gross income. Talk with one or more mortgage lenders about the loan amount for which you might qualify. Interview at least a couple of lenders.

Develop a wish list of what you'd like your home to have. We have a form that you may use to do this. Then prioritize the features on your list.

Select three or four neighborhoods you'd like. Consider items such as schools, shopping facilities, area travel routes. walkability, public transportation and safety.

Determine if you have enough saved to cover your down payment and closing costs. Closing costs, including taxes, escrow fees and title reports, average between 2-4 percent of the home price.

Get your credit in order. Obtain a copy of your credit report. Free copies are available annually from freecreditreport.com

Determine how large a mortgage you can handle. Also explore different loan options and decide what's best for you.

Organize all the documentation a lender will need to preapprove you for a loan. The lender will provide a checklist of information they need.

Do  research to determine if you qualify for any special mortgage or down payment assistance programs. There are many first-time homebuyer, owner-occupied, and special interest options available for which you may be eligible. Ask during your lender interviews to see which ones they know.

Calculate the costs of homeownership, including property taxes, insurance, maintenance and association fees, if applicable.

And when you are ready to buy a Seattle home, send Wendy Ceccherelli a private message at HomeLandInvestment@gmail.com or call 888-621-4999.

Happy Investing!

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