REAL ESTATE MARKET WATCH: Financial Tips to Help You Prepare for Homeownership

By  //  May 15, 2018

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Things to Remember While Calculating Mortgage

The perceived challenges of owning your first home seem scary. In fact, many people would rather avoid owning a home and opt for renting due to fear of the unknown. However, purchasing a home in the right market and with the right loan product can make home ownership affordable.

The perceived challenges of owning your first home seem scary. In fact, many people would rather avoid owning a home and opt for renting due to fear of the unknown. However, purchasing a home in the right market and with the right loan product can make home ownership affordable.

So, how can you save money yet achieve an acceptable quality of life owning a home and how long does it take to close on a home? To find the answers, you must first understand each factor that goes into purchasing a home. The following are the three largest considerations during the buy decision-making process.

1. Calculating How Much You Can Afford

If you’re looking into buying, start with figuring out what you can afford to pay each month. Financial experts suggest that your home should be about two to four times your yearly salary. However, this does not take into consideration your existing net worth.

In addition, overinvesting in your first home is not advisable. Consider purchasing a bigger home in future. Plus, avoid overextending yourself or you will likely find yourself living house poor.

When deciding just how much you can afford, you should consider how much you take home after paying taxes as well as any other debt and monthly payments you are making. In addition, consider the foreseeable expenses you’re likely to incur in future as well as your emergency funds. Don’t forget to factor in the availability of down payment funds. 

2. Understanding Down Payment

Down payment is the money spend upfront while purchasing a house. Apart from taxes and fees, your home’s total purchase is the sum of the mortgage and down payment. Your down payment amount also has an effect on mortgage interest rate over the lifespan of the loan.

Ideally, you should only purchase a home if you can put down a 20% down payment. This amount will keep interest rate low while saving money on interest paid in the end. It also helps keep the monthly payments you make smaller.

However, down payment amounts vary. In addition, a home buyer’s finances are different while some are more comfortable putting a bigger amount down than others are. To get a better idea of whether you can or can’t purchase a home, find a number that’s comfortable for your budget.

3. Things to Remember While Calculating Mortgage

Once you have a good idea of what you can and cannot spend monthly, find out how much you can get for your payment. While a mortgage is the home loan, the gradual repayment of principal amount and monthly interest is amortization. Credit score, credit history, annual income, debt, down payment and interest rates affect your monthly mortgage payments.

Depending on the individual timeline, you can optimize the variables to get the best mortgage rate. Most homebuyers choose to pay off loans and put more money towards saving for the down payment. This allows you to get the best possible rates since you have low debt and can bring about 10 to 20 percent to the negotiations table as down payment.

A high number of potential buyers choose to wait until their credit improves to get the best rates for high credit scores. Since interest rates fluctuate, it’s a good idea to lock into a low-interest rate and save. Lower interest rates mean you save on mortgage by decreasing the loan cost.

Begin your journey today by calculating how much home you can afford depending on your expenses, savings and income. Remember, down payments are usually about 3.5 to 20% of the home’s price, but you will require insurance for anything smaller.

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