by Lisa Williams, CRS, GRI, ABR
Williams & Associates Realty
Spring is a great time to buy a home but it’s also a busy time. The low rates that are available may not last forever. Many lenders offer various option plans for your monthly payments. It makes sense to take advantage of these choices.
Despite the downturn in the economic situation in the U.S., from 2008-2010, there is still some encouraging news for home buyers. Springtime offers a sense of renewal and energy and here are some steps you can do to get started.
Take the first step: The first thing to consider is how much you can afford. Aside from monthly mortgage payments, you must have enough money set aside for a down payment, closing costs, moving costs and the initial costs of living in the home. Your total housing payments should not exceed 28 percent of your gross income and total debt payments should come in under 36 percent. That means payments on all loans, including your mortgage loan, school loans, auto loans and credit card debt (loan programs may vary check with your lender).
Get a pre-approval: Get a pre-approval for your mortgage from a lender or bank. Speak with several mortgage lenders and choose the best rate and the most appropriate terms.
Do your homework: Before setting out on your search for a home, determine your needs. Make a list of what you absolutely must have and what you would be willing to forego. Research the neighborhoods that interest you. Check out the schools, the infrastructure, and get a feel for the area.
Choose a good real estate agent: Find a good real estate agent. Local agents offer information you can’t always find online or through ad listings. Agents know the prices of recently sold properties and many have a good handle on what a house is worth. True, you can probably find this information online, but it may not be as up-to-date as the knowledge of a real estate agent who is on the job 24/7.
Join us at our next Home Buying Seminar: May 16, 23, 30, 2012 6-8PM Central Library Downtown 733 N. 8th Street Centennial Hall. This FREE first-time home buyer seminar will help answer some of your questions about homeownership, getting a mortgage loan, working with a real estate professional, and having a home inspection. This seminar is free and seating is limited. Call Housing Resources, Inc. (414) 461-6330 to register.
Feel free to contact Lisa Williams, CRS, GRI, ABR of Williams & Associates Realty for more information at (414) 463-9948 or www.williamsandassociatesrealty.com