Thursday, August 25, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Palos Verdes Real Estate Realtors Agents Palos Verdes Residential Brokers
So, what are the most important questions you need to answer in deciding whether you’re ready to buy? Here are some of the big ones:
1. Do I have sufficient funds for a down payment?
And how much, exactly, is “enough?” Today’s minimum down payment requirements range from 3.5 percent on an FHA loan to 10 or even 20 percent for conventional loans. That means coming up with anywhere from $7,000 to $40,000 on a typical $200,000 house. While there are still programs that can give you a down payment assist
If you can’t even fathom the prospect of having a home maintenance crisis without having a landlord to call to fix it, you might want to reconsider homeownership - or at the very least, buy a lower maintenance
If you think you might move out of the area next year, then you really shouldn’t be thinking about buying a house (unless of course, you want to play landlord and rent it out after you leave - a prospect which requires its own risk/rewards analysis). For your home purchase to pencil out as a good deal, financially, you’ll shouldn’t buy unless you’re comfortable staying in the house at least 5-7 years - even longer, if you’re buying a home in a foreclosure hot spot or an area with a sluggish job market.. This gives you some time to build up equity and make up for the costs of buying, selling and moving. 4. Are my job and finances stable?
Maybe you just went through a major career change and are in the process of working your way back up from the top. Or maybe you work in a field that has been hit really hard by layoffs and cutbacks. The worst case scenario is to find yourself in a spot with mortgage payment you have no way to make, when you could have avoided that by seeing the writing on the wall. If you feel like there’s a real chance you could lose your job or income tomorrow, you may want to hold off on buying a house - that has the added bonus of giving you the geographic freedom to move, if needed, to get a new job.Is there really such a thing as 100 percent job security in today’s economy? Probably not. But the best practice is to be confident that your finances could handle a temporary loss of income and still make your mortgage payments, before you buy. One way to do this is to have enough money in the bank to cover 4-6 months’ worth of living expenses, calculating them to include your mortgage payment - before you deem yourself ready to buy. That way, even if you lose your job with no warning at all, you’ll at least have a reasonable window of time to find a new one without digging yourself into a hole - or worse, losing your home altogether. 5. What are my real reasons for buying?
Buying a home is a long-term commitment that will have massive impacts on your lifestyle, your family and your finances. In other words, don’t do it unless you’re really sure you want to and are ready for the lifestyle change - don’t let someone else talk you into it. Worthy reasons renters with homeowning readiness give for their decision to buy include some or all of the following:
- You want to build equity instead of paying a landlord. Fact is, if you get a fixed rate mortgage and make the payments for the full term of the loan, you'll eventually pay it off. That's not possible when you're renting.
- You want a place to call your own, where you can paint a wall purple, add a pottery spinning studio or build your dogs an obstacle course (oops - that's my reason for homeownership!), because it's your prerogative.
- You want the tax advantages of homeownership.
- You want a stable place you and your family can live for as long as you'd like.
Ask yourself these questions, and be honest with your answers. If you really want to buy, but your answers to these questions today don’t weigh in that direction, it doesn’t mean you’ll never own a home. It’s usually just a matter of strategically timing your purchase out a year or two when your savings, your career and your lifestyle are in alignment with the implications of ownership - consider working closely with a real estate broker and a mortgage professional to get an action plan in place and start working that plan.
For more information about Palos Verdes Real Estate, Torrance Real Estate and South Bay or buying and selling a home on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, visit my website at http://pvbrokers.net . We provide specialized attention for all your real estate needs in the South Bay Los Angeles and the Palos Verdes Peninsula. We would love to hear your comments or suggestions.
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