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Yemelyan Rybakov
Yemelyan Rybakov

Home Buying Advice [REPACK]

What price home are you in the market for? In addition to estimating monthly mortgage payments that you think are doable on your income, have you factored in other expenses such as insurance, property taxes, utility payments, and maintenance costs? What you can afford may be less than the online mortgage calculators are showing.

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A good start for exploring different mortgages is to compare conventional loans to FHA loans. An FHA loan for first-time home buyers, for example, allows lower qualifying credit scores and a lower down payment than conventional loans do. A conventional loan, however, can have fewer restrictions. If you are an active-duty service member or veteran, another option is VA home loans. These have generous benefits and terms.

A stress-free home purchase is all about being prepared. You can get ahead of the game by gathering your financial paperwork: all bank account statements, 30 days of pay stubs, two years of W-2s and of tax returns, 12 months of rent payments and lease, documentation of any outstanding loans, and more, are required.

In general, first-time home buyers are the wrong borrowers for risky loans. If you have a lender who is trying to steer you to one of these products, then you have to ask yourself some hard questions: what price house can I really afford and is this the right lender to help me get there?

Good real estate agents understand the current housing market. They know neighborhoods, housing inventory, how to compare homes and help you make a decision, and how to present your best offer to a seller and negotiate in your best interest. They also guide you through the escrow to closing process. This means you want to hire someone knowledgeable, experienced, and plugged in.

The first step in buying a new house is selling your current home. An important part of this process is knowing when people are likely to put their homes on the market, then using it as a guide for when to buy your new home.

Hiring a home inspector gives the buyer another chance to review their decision before buying their first home. In a competitive home-selling market, signing the purchase agreement without a home inspection means the deal is done and the buyer has no recourse. This is true even for major problems like a leaky roof.

Home buyers should plan on attending the entire inspection. However, some buyers choose to not be present during the inspection. The inspection might be three hours long, but every minute of those hours is spent absorbing new information and allowing the home buyer to look around the house.

A NerdWallet survey of 2,200 home buyers and mortgage applicants found the biggest regret among millennial buyers was not saving more money before buying a house. About 11 percent of respondents no longer felt financially secure after they bought their home. Learn more about down payments and how they affect mortgage payments. Plus, how long it takes to save for a house.

Other things to ask yourself: Do you feel confident they are working on your behalf and not just trying to slam dunk you into a home to get the sale? Is the Realtor knowledgeable of the specific neighborhoods and areas you are interested in living so they can negotiate a good price for you?

First-time home buyers might be struggling with the dilemma of buying a home with more square footage versus buying a home in a hot area. Home values and selling the home down the line are important for the first-time buyer. When wrestling with this question, know that location truly helps maintain home values in all types of markets.

Neighborhood amenities are also important in assessing location when buying the first home. How close is the grocery store? What about recreation areas such as bike and walking paths? Is the home accessible to public transit? Lastly, homes on a busy street will always take longer to sell, and that usually translates to selling at a lower price.

For the first-time home buyer, excluding split-entry homes might mean missing an affordable home option with nice features. Things like wood floors or a more open floor plan between the kitchen and living areas on the upper level.

They derive their estimated home market values with a proprietary formula that uses public and user-submitted data, taking into account special features, location and market conditions. This must not be mistaken for a bank appraisal.

Have a face-to-face conversation or write a letter to the seller about your family and why the neighborhood and home fit your needs. These are both excellent ways to stand out in a bidding war. Be sure to include a family picture, and of course a few compliments to the sellers on the maintenance and appeal of their home.

You can really learn a lot about a house just by looking at it. Make sure you do your own home inspection and note any possible issues. Look at walls and ceilings for any evidence of water damage (discoloration, stains, etc.).

A well-functioning attic is crucial to protecting a home. If your home inspector can get into the attic without trampling insulation, you can often learn a lot about the home and any renovations or repairs.

Losing water pressure or dealing with a slow drain can be indicators of larger plumbing issues. Make sure bathtubs and shower pans are leak-tested. And have the home inspector inspect the water main and shut-off points (useful knowledge if/when you take ownership of the property).

Most of us like to think that when we own a home we can do whatever we want with it. The reality is that we have to take into account municipal regulations as well as any homeowners association requirements.

A mortgage loan is incredibly complicated. Any real estate professional can regale you with endless tales of loans and closings going off the rails for one reason or another. With so many ways for things to go wrong, you want to pick a mortgage lender who understands the business and will work with you and your real estate agent to achieve the goal you all want: closing on a home.

One of the most important priorities of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is helping home buyers with the purchase of their first home, and this includes assisting borrowers with their down payment. If you qualify as a first-time home buyer, you may have access to state programs, tax breaks and an FHA loan.

Did you know that you can decide between multiple types of mortgage loans? The type of loan you choose will determine your down payment amount, the type of home you can buy and more. Here are some of the more familiar types:

Your reason for buying a home will be your north star for making decisions about your purchase. If your goal is to dip your toe into real estate investment, a duplex may be the perfect option for you.

For example, you might focus on finding a home with extra bedrooms if you plan to have children or need a home office. If pets are the light of your life, a big yard or a location near plenty of green spaces may be nonnegotiable.

Andrew Dehan is a professional writer who writes about real estate and homeownership. He is also a published poet, musician and nature-lover. He lives in metro Detroit with his wife, daughter and dogs.

Financial health is another way of stating what one's financial condition is and involves savings, expenses, and ongoing income through employment. It also involves a person's credit score, which determines the ability to qualify for loans such as those for homes or new vehicles and the terms of the loans. Financial health reflects the ability to live within one's means, save money and be able to afford all monthly obligations like loan payments and everyday expenses.

Buying a house can take as little as a few days if you're buying in cash, or can take years if you're counting the amount of time it takes you to save money for a down payment and decide where to live. In a competitive housing market, you may put in multiple offers on homes before one is accepted. Conversely, mounting worry over a housing recession could lead more sellers to pull their homes from the market, making it more difficult to find a suitable property. If you already have your money saved and have a good idea of the neighborhoods and type of home you want, the process will probably take you two to six months. Ask a local real estate agent for a more accurate timeline based on your local market conditions.

For example, if you bring home $6,600 a month, your maximum house payment is $1,650. Now imagine you get a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage at 4% interest. If your property tax is 1.14%, home insurance is $1,200 per year, and PMI is 0.5% (for down payments below 20%), here are some home prices you could afford:

Some lenders only care about profits, while others actually care about helping you become a homeowner. Talk to at least three lenders. Compare their interest rates, fees and customer service to find the best one for your finances and peace of mind.

Want to meet an agent you can trust? Connect with the RamseyTrusted agents in our Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) program. RamseyTrusted ELPs are top-performing agents who will help you find a home that fits your needs and budget.

Here are the basic home-buying steps: Determine how much house you can afford, get preapproved for a mortgage, find an experienced real estate agent, research neighborhoods for best fit, go house hunting, make a competitive offer within your budget, finalize your financing, and prepare for closing. is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated in exchange for placement of sponsored products and, services, or by you clicking on certain links posted on our site. Therefore, this compensation may impact how, where and in what order products appear within listing categories, except where prohibited by law for our mortgage, home equity and other home lending products. Other factors, such as our own proprietary website rules and whether a product is offered in your area or at your self-selected credit score range can also impact how and where products appear on this site. While we strive to provide a wide range offers, Bankrate does not include information about every financial or credit product or service. 041b061a72


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