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Things to Think About Before Becoming a Homeowner

To call homeownership a tremendous responsibility would be an understatement. Since homes represent the most expensive purchases many of us will ever make, it’s only natural that you’d want to put as much thought into purchasing your first home as possible. Needless to say, diving into homeownership without doing your homework can have a host of undesirable consequences. So, when preparing to make the jump from renter to homeowner, remember to carefully consider the following factors.

What Type of Mortgage Do You Want?

Since very few Americans can afford to purchase a home without the assistance of a mortgage, it stands to reason that you’re going to need one, too. However, before proceeding to apply for mortgage loans, it’s in your best interest to explore your options. While some mortgages are likely to be well-suited to your needs, others aren’t going to prove quite as accommodating.

When reviewing potential mortgages, there are several factors you’ll need to consider. First off, how many years will a mortgage take to pay off? Secondly, what’s the rate of interest, and is it fair? Furthermore, how long do you intend to live in this house? If you intend to occupy this property for decades, it’s generally a good idea to opt for a fixed-rate mortgage, whereas adjustable-rate mortgages are ideal for people who don’t intend to spend very many years in a home. Fortunately, when looking for a mortgage in Virginia Beach, you’re likely to find a bevy of fantastic options.

How Much Work Does the Property Need?

Homebuyers should always be wary of purchasing houses that require an excessive amount of fixing up. While it’s not unusual for homes to require mild to moderate repairs/renovations, properties that are regarded as fixer-uppers generally aren’t a good investment for first-time buyers. Homes like these can place a tremendous strain on your finances – not to mention your time and energy. So, no matter how good a deal you’re being offered, you should avoid making a fixer-upper your first home.

Before committing to purchase any home, you should have the property thoroughly examined by a seasoned home inspector. This person will be able to spot an extensive assortment of issues that are likely to escape the gaze of nonprofessionals. As a bonus, the home inspector’s findings stand to place you in a better bargaining position. For example, if they document outstanding issues in need of repair, you’ll be fully justified in asking the seller to deduct the cost of said repairs from the final price.

How Much Will the Home Cost Long-Term?

As any homeowner can attest, your financial responsibilities aren’t limited to mortgage payments. You’ll also be responsible for homeowners insurance payments, property taxes, power, utilities, and a host of other regular expenses. So, before signing any paperwork, take care to calculate the projected monthly and annual expenses associated with owning a home. Should these figures prove overwhelming, it may be a good idea to consider other properties.

How Much Outstanding Debt Do You Have?

It isn’t hard to see why lenders are often hesitant to grant mortgage loans to applicants with copious outstanding debt. If these individuals are unable to keep up with other debt payments, why should lenders assume that they’ll stay current with mortgage payments? Needless to say, if you’re currently sitting on a mountain of unpaid debt, you’d do well to make some major headway into paying it off before submitting any loan applications. Not only will this increase your chances of loan approval, but it may also broaden the number of mortgages for which you are eligible to apply.

There are a lot of things to think about before transitioning from renter to homeowner. Given the immense level of responsibility, homeownership entails, it’s in the best interest of every homebuyer to cross their t’s and dot their i’s before they begin submitting mortgage applications or making offers on houses. Considering how much time, money, and effort many people put into maintaining their homes, potential homeowners need to form a solid understanding of the risks and benefits associated with such a venture. So, if you’ll soon be purchasing your first home, give some thought to the factors discussed above.

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