What Is The Best Advice For First Time Home-Buyers?
What is the best advice you have for first time home-buyers?
Do not buy a house you cannot afford. Do not assume your salary is going to increase with inflation, that no baby will come along, or that some other expense will pop up and slap you in the face.
You may not get your dream home on your first purchase. You may never get your "dream home." You can get a home and you can enjoy it and it can be a place where your family can grow. Just do not assume your income is always going to go up.
Also, shop around for mortgage rates--avoide adjustable rate mortgages, no matter how cheap the first year may seem. It will cost you in the long run. If and when you refinance, do not refinance for the purpose of lowering your note. Refinance for the purpose of lowering the number of years you will have a mortgage.
Be practical. The house I live in today, was the second house my wife and i purchased. When we refinanced I was able to knock five years off the mortgage. I am 60 and the house is paid for. I am unemployed, but I do not have a house note to worry about.
Make sure that when you consider your budget to see if the payment is within your means that you have included the escrow and insurance into the payment amount and added an average of $200-300 in utilities. Usually utilities in a house will be more then in an apartment or smaller home, of course the amount may vary from state to state and the family's habits.
As Larry says, do not buy one you cannot afford. Make sure that your mortgage and utilities are only 25% of your income. And if you are not a handy person, maybe ownership is not for you because everything eventually breaks. Also always have a contingency fund for unexpected repairs.
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