practical buying tips
- If you can't afford it, don't buy it.
- Don't jump into a home purchase blindly. Do your research, learn about the area and study all the available data
- Avoid creative financing. Buy properties with traditional terms and amortization periods and know what your mortgage payment will be each month for the entire mortgage term.
- Always put 20% down.
- Whatever the bank says you can afford, subtract 20%, and you'll more likely never be house poor.
- You're not just buying a house, you're buying a neighborhood.
- It's harder to get a mortgage because qualifications are more stringent these days. Keep great financial records and be patient throughout the process.
- Don't expect the market to bail you out. That means no overpaying for a house you can't really afford in hopes of market appreciation making up the difference.
- Less is more. A smaller, practical, easy-to-manage house is the new, big rambling mansion.
- Stay on top of your credit, and shoot for an excellent score.
- Plan to stay in you home at least 5 years. Think you'll need to sell before then? Keep renting until you know you can stay put for a while.
- Budget for all the ongoing costs of home ownership ~ not just the monthly mortgage payment. Be sure you have the funds for property taxes, insurance and even an emergency repair fund.
- If you are questioning your job security and ability to get a new job quickly don't buy yet.
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