4 Questions to Ask When Buying a Home
Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned real estate investor, buying a home is a an exciting process. However, there’s also a lot to consider when you decide to buy. So before you begin your search for the perfect property, here are four questions you should ask yourself.
What do I want?
Take the time to figure out what type of property you want to buy. From single-family and multi-family homes to condos and town homes, there are many different options on the market and it’s important to choose the type that best fits your needs. Figuring out the town or neighborhood you want to live in is equally important. While a property might have all of the amenities you’re looking for, factors like crime rate and proximity to highways can impact the overall home-owning experience. A good idea is to list out and prioritize your needs (e.g. large backyard, great school system) before you begin your search. Make sure to share that list with you agent and they will tailor you searches to your criteria!
What can I afford?
The rule of thumb is that you should never spend more than 30% of your monthly income on a mortgage payment. An alternate rule states that you can afford to buy a property that runs about two-and-a-half times your annual salary. For a more tailored look at what you can afford, use an online mortgage calculator to see what your monthly mortgage payments would be if you bought a home today.
Please ask for recommendations on a favorable local lender. They will look at everything with you and together you can create a perfect picture of what your mortgage will look like! If you need recommendations on finding a lender, please click here
Am I financially prepared?
A few months before you start searching for a home, review your credit history and make sure it is in good standing. Get copies of your credit report, ensure that it’s accurate, and fix any issues you discover. It’s likely that you’ll also want to get pre-approved for a home loan, which will put you in a better position to make a serious offer once you find the right property. Pre-approval from a lender is based on your credit history, debt, and income. It is important to have pre-approval from the lender of your choice so that when you do come across that perfect property – you have the ability to act on it because you already know you are set!
How do I make the best bid possible?
Do your research! Talk with you agent and discuss property value in the area. Montana is a non disclosure state – meaning it cannot publicly disclose sale prices of homes – this is where your agent comes in handy! They will be able to search the area. If these properties sold for less than the current asking price of the home you’re looking at, you can feel comfortable make a bid that fits the property’s value.
As always if you ever have any questions about the market in the Billings and surrounding areas – please don’t hesitate to contact me!