Buying a home is a big deal, so it only makes sense that you should have some big questions to ask before taking the plunge. Really stop and reflect, and then give yourself a chance to get excited! This is a significant step in your financial future. But first, those questions:
1. Do I Know All the Options When It Comes to Mortgages?
Sure, it makes sense to try to find the lowest interest rate when choosing a lender, but there are so many other factors to take into account that can save—or cost—you money. The best thing you can do is talk to a mortgage broker face-to-face to hammer out all the details before you move forward.
2. Is It Cheaper to Rent or to Own?
Depending on the market in an area, it may actually be better for you financially to keep renting for a little longer. And remember, the cost of owning a home goes deeper than just the monthly cost of your mortgage payment. Don’t forget everything that’s included in your rent: whether your landlord pays some of the utilities, or takes care of snow removal—or even just is on the hook for repairs and updating broken appliances.
3. Is The House In A Desirable Location to Rent or Resell?
Sure, maybe you have your eyes on a forever home, an investment property you can retire in. But sometimes life happens, and a great career opportunity could pop up on the other side of the country, or family matters could pull you away from this spot. Are you going to be able to find a renter? Or someone who wants to buy the property? It may be perfect for you, but can it be perfect for someone else?
4. Am I In the Best Financial Place to Purchase a Home?
Sometimes this leap can be a scary one if you’re not financially prepared for the responsibility of homeownership. Are you getting close to paying back other debt, or do you have some major expenses coming up? It can sometimes make more sense to wait to purchase a home, depending on your personal circumstances.
5. What Are the Ten Most Important Things For Me to Have In a Home?
You don’t have to be Santa Claus to make a list and check it twice. Write down the features and factors that are most important to you when purchasing a home, whether that’s an extra bedroom, a fully insulated attached garage, or just a big front yard. Figure out what matters to you, and look for that.
6. Can I Afford the Monthly Cost of Home Ownership?
Remember, there’s more cost to owning a home than just the monthly mortgage payment. Your actual cost includes things like property taxes, utilities, repairs, upgrades, and savings for an emergency fund. That’s your real monthly cost. So add up everything for the year, and then divide by 12. Do you feel comfortable with that number?
7. Am I Planning to Live Here Long Term?
Don’t forget that real estate is a long-term investment. Do you see yourself here for the next three to ten years? Sure, you can’t know what the future holds, but it pays to have a solid idea of whether you’ll want to live in this home for the long-term. Sometimes the market can dip, making it more profitable to hold onto the property and wait for an upswing. Will you be able to afford to own this home for the foreseeable future?
Once you've answered all your questions and decided that it's time to take the plunge into homeownership, head in to your nearest RMCU branch and talk to one of our qualified lenders. They're standing by waiting to help you find a deal that's best for you.
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