The only thing certain about today’s economy is that it is uncertain. Fortunately, you don’t have to give up on the home of your dreams because of a fluctuating economy. Here are four steps you can take to make sure your money, and your house, is safe regardless of the state of the economy.
Maximize your down payment
It’s always best to own as much of your house as you can. Establishing a down payment of 20% of the home’s value is a good goal. However, new homeowners will often put down a much smaller amount. If you can’t afford a down payment of at least 5% of the home’s value, you may not be ready to buy a house just yet. Having little or no equity in a home could mean taking a loss should you need to sell it.
Get less than you qualify for
It’s best to buy a house that comes in under your approved mortgage limit. This will keep your mortgage payments from taking over your monthly budget. Also, if the economy or your financial situation worsens, you’ll have a smaller mortgage payment to cover each month.
Pick the right realtor
Here’s how to cut through the hype of the real estate market and find the realtor who is truly best for you.
- Speak to recent clients about their experience with this agent.
- Look up the licensing of your prospective agent. You can find this information online.
- Choose a winner. A realtor who has been recognized for excellent work is one you want working for you.
- Research how long the agent has been in the industry.
- Check the current listings under the realtor’s name. Are they in the same price range as the house you’re hoping to buy?
Look for red flags
A professional inspection before signing on a home is a given, but did you take a careful look around? You don’t want any unpleasant surprises after you’ve moved in. Check for the following.
- A sturdy roof. A flimsy roof can bring expensive repairs. If you don’t mind replacing the roof, use it as a negotiating point for a lower price.
- Efficient heating and cooling systems. These can be costly to fix and replace. Plus, inefficient systems can hike up your utility bills.
- Strong structural components. Don’t be fooled by a fresh coat of paint. Check beneath the surface for strong pipes, wiring and insulation.
- Overall functioning of the home. Try out everything! Open doors, turn on faucets and turn on light switches. If you find any major problems, rethink your decision to buy this home. Don’t mind a handful of minor repairs? Use these as a negotiating point.
Whether you’re buying your first home, moving up to your dream home or downsizing to something more manageable, you’ll find the perfect home loan at Partner Colorado. Plus, for a limited time, when you finance your first mortgage with Partner Colorado, you can save up to $1,000 on closing costs.
If you’d like to learn more about the home-buying process, register online for our free Home Buying Seminar coming up on Thursday, April 26. We’ll be there to answer all your home buying questions!