What would you recommend as the best first step in home buying?
Before you start looking at homes for sale, be sure you do some "homework." Here are some of the questions for which you'll need answers:
- Check out interest rates
What are current local mortgage interest rates for 15-year and 30-year fixed rate mortgages, and for 1-, 3- and 5-year adjustable rate mortgages?
- Shop for the best loan
Which type of loan is best for you? Will you be in the house several years and benefit most from a long-term fixed rate, or do you want a lower, short-term rate because you plan to move soon or expect your income to increase rapidly over the next few years?
- Determine how much house you can afford
How much of a mortgage can you qualify for? The loan amount plus your down payment tells you how much house you can afford.
- Investigate neighborhood prices
What neighborhoods feature homes in your price range?
- Separate needs from wants
What are your priorities for your next home? How important are public transportation, community facilities, on-street parking, lot size, privacy? How many bedrooms and baths will you need? Will you need a space for a home office? How important are quality neighborhood schools?
Chances are you can answer a couple of these questions on your own, but you may need some assistance with the others. If you do, please call or e-mail us. We can make sure you have the preliminary house-hunting information you need.