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Home Buying - Planning FAQ
Are you thinking about buying a home but filled with a thousand and one questions? If so, you can be assured that you are not the only homebuyer to feel a bit overwhelmed. To help you get started and to answer some of the most asked questions, we have put together a great list of questions and answers to make the home buying process easier and more pleasant for you.

One of the questions asked most often is how to determine the right time for buying a house. The best way is to ask you some questions and then answer them honestly. For example, consider the following:
  1. Do you have a job that provides a steady income and have you been employed consistently and in the same type industry for the past two to three years?

  2. Do you have a history of paying your bills on time?

  3. Do you have too many long-term debts such as an automobile, boat, or so on?

  4. Do you have the money needed for a down payment as well as a couple months’ income in your savings account?
In addition to answering these questions, you also want to think about the actual buying process, which for many people can be a daunting experience. For this part, consider these questions:
  1. How large of a home do you need now?

  2. If you plan to stay in your home longer than five years, will the initial space be adequate?

  3. Is there a specific area of town you need to consider?

  4. Do you have any special needs for a disabled family member?

  5. Are you interested in a home with lawn and landscaping maintenance or do you prefer something low maintenance?

  6. How much upkeep on a home do you want to mess with? If you have a busy lifestyle, you may not want a large home that requires a lot of work.
When it comes to choosing a lender, the best advice is to comparison shop as much as possible. Start first by talking to your personal bank or credit union to see what they can do. In addition to that, you need to talk to various banks, commercial lenders, and mortgage companies. This is important in that most will have some variation in what they can offer.

Once you have found a home you want to buy, whatever you do, never bypass having a licensed Professional Engineer perform a thorough home inspection. This individual will check the home’s electricity, plumbing, foundation, roof, attic, basement, and every inch of the home to identify any major flaws that could cost you thousands of dollars to fix. Once the inspection is complete, the buyer will have to fix most of them, thus saving you money.

Another important aspect of buying a home is homeowner’s insurance, which is another element that can vary. If you have your automobile insurance or renter’s insurance, more than likely you will get your best deal from that agent or insurance company. This too is something you want to shop around for to ensure you get the best price possible. Talk to your lender about the various types of home loans as well. You want to determine if a fixed rate mortgage would be better for you over an adjustable rate mortgage. Best of all, there are all types of programs available to suit just about every situation.

The best down payment to have would be 20%. However, for most couples, this is quite a bit of money. There are many opportunities for down payments of 3% to 5%, but keep in mind that the more money you can put down, the better. Remember that buying a home is an exciting event in life and by looking at all your options; you can purchase the perfect home for your needs and save yourself money during the process.

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