Five Things to Consider When House Hunting

Thinking of purchasing a home? Here are five things we at Mlend, recommend you consider before putting in an offer.

1. How long you are going to be in the area?

When deciding whether to buy a home, it is important to consider how long you are going to be in the area. Depending on the length of time you plan on living in a given location, it may not make sense to purchase a home. For example, if you are only planning on staying in a community for a year, you probably don’t want to buy a house. Buying a home is one of, if not, the biggest investments you will make in your life and unless you are buying the house outright or putting down a significant down payment, it takes time to get a return on that investment.

2. Location, Location, Location

You have probably heard the age old saying “location, location, location.” The sentiment behind the expression is absolutely true though; location is very important when deciding where you are going to purchase property. Some things to consider include: How far is the house from your workplace? What are the neighborhood schools like? Is the house located in a part of town where the property value is expected to increase? Are there cultural attractions nearby (i.e. theaters, museums, historical sites)? Are there nice restaurants around? It is always a good idea to go into the home buying process having done your research so you know what neighborhoods you are interested in.

3. Buying a home is a commitment

Buying a home is a commitment. As mentioned earlier, purchasing property is one of the biggest financial investments you will make in your life. Therefore, it is imperative that you are as prepared as possible before entering into a contract. Focus on the long term. It can take up to 5 years before you gain a sizable amount of equity in your home. Furthermore, property value fluctuates. The value of your home can be affected by many factors including the property’s age and location, the economy, supply and demand, interest rates, and the size of your home. Some of these are out of your control; but, one thing is not: keeping the property in good condition. This can be done through renovations, regular maintenance, and ensuring that your home has curb appeal.

4. Creating a wish list

When buying your dream home, create a wish list of items that are non-negotiable for you. Then, add a column for things it would be nice to have in your home, but are not necessary or can be added later through renovations. Examples of these items may include: a dishwasher, natural light, a pool, close proximity to your work place, an island in the kitchen, and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms the property contains.

5. Figuring out your budget

Last, but certainly not least, is considering your budget and the price range you are comfortable with. It is extremely important to buy a home you are able to afford. When calculating a reasonable monthly mortgage payment, take into consideration your level of debt. For example, how much do you owe on your student loans or carry in credit card debt?  A general rule of thumb is that your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio should not exceed 36 percent. Budget calculations should also include additional monthly costs such as utilities, childcare, or a car payment. It may help to itemize expenses such as gas, food, travel, entertainment, etc. Finally, weigh the amount you have for a down payment as well as whether you would like to apply for a 15-or 30-year mortgage.

Buying a home is exciting; and, at Mlend we are here to make sure the process is as seamless and stress-free as possible. We strive to offer excellent customer service and competitive 15 and 30 year mortgage rates. We are here to serve you and answer any mortgage related questions you may have. Feel free to contact us today at 301-371-8850.

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