How to Know You’re Ready: 10 Tips For Buying a House

You’ve done your research, made financially responsible choices to save for a down payment and have deemed yourself ready to become a home buyer. As you begin your search, CNN helps with these 10 tips for buying a house.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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1. Be realistic about what you can afford.

This number is about two and one half times your salary. CNN also offers an online calculator that is helpful in better understanding this number in detail. Don’t just determine what mortgage you can afford, make sure you account for a rise in interest rates or other variables that can hit you financially after buying a house.

2. Schools are at the top of most buyer’s must-have lists.

Consider buying a home in a good school district. The resale value could be higher than the same house in a less than stellar district. Even if you don’t have children, this matters when buying a house. Luckily Santa Rita Ranch is located in a prime location for excellent school districts like Liberty Hill ISD and Georgetown ISD.

3.  Get a home inspector.

Check the home inside and out. Home appraisals are required by a lender for financial purposes but you also need an expert to determine if anything is wrong with the house. The extra $200 could save you a lot of future hassle after buying.

4. Get pre-approved for a loan.

Anyone can be pre-qualified but being pre-approved is a good decision when buying a house. This is a way to know exactly how much you can afford and gives you time to shop around for loan options. In addition, it will put you in a better position to make a purchase by letting the seller know you’re serious.

5. If you move a lot, homeownership is not for you.

Trying out new cities every couple of years is great, but homeownership is not conducive to your lifestyle. Be prepared to stay in the same place for a few years if you purchase a home. If you sell early, you could risk losing money.

6. Clean up your credit.

Bad credit can result in a higher interest rate on your loan, or even worse you might not get a loan at all. Get copies of your credit report several months before and check for any inconsistencies or mistakes.

7. Understand how much and how high to bid.

What are similar homes in the same neighborhood selling for? How high can you go and still feel comfortable in case you need to place a counter offer? Stick to your budget long after the negotiations are over. It’s also helpful to pull the selling prices of other homes in the neighborhood over the last three months.

8. Hire an agent even if you think you don’t need one.

Most people need an expert when it comes to buying a house. These professionals can help you navigate the waters and understand the ins and outs of the process.

9. Things are changing for lending in 2015.

Even if you can’t do 20% for a down payment, still apply for a loan when buying a house. Economic news says Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are changing lending strategy in 2015. You might still get a loan with as low as 3% down.

10. Points vs Rate

How do you choose? CNN says go with the option to pay points if you are going to be in the home for several years. These points, which are a portion of the interest rate, can be exchanged at closing for a lower long term interest rate. It will save you more in the future.

These 10 tips for buying a house can help you understand if you are ready to become a homeowner. Is it time for you to move forward? See our featured floor plans and start planning your Santa Rita Ranch move today.

When you’re ready to become a new Austin home owner, visit our featured move in-ready homes to find the house of your dreams.