Do you have any idea what you should do before buying a home? Sure, you may know that you need a down payment and that your credit should be good. But, do you really have what it takes to buy a house right now? You might be shocked to know the answer!
With a home being the biggest investment you could ever make, it is not surprising that so many are clamoring to apply for home loans. The tax benefits of home ownership outweigh the tax burdens, and of course the notion that you have a home that will be yours without having to worry about rents being raised, developers gobbling up apartment buildings only to turn them into condominiums, and the idea of gardening usually provide attractive incentives. Yet before you go out and speak to the first mortgage broker you can pull up online about financiering your dream home, consider what you can really afford.
Similarly, before you start house shopping, hoping that you will somehow qualify for the home loans you need, keep in mind that you need to not only factor in the cost of the home but also the cost of the taxes as well as the insurance you will need to carry. When it comes right down to the cold hard cash reality, it will be wise to have about 20 percent available for a down payment. Granted, there are many loans that are being advertised as zero down financing, yet the fine print is very clear in that this savings will cost you with respect to interest rates.
Reputable lenders of home loans will look at your long term and short term debts. If possible, pay off smaller debts and revisit your larger debts to see if they can be paid off quicker. While student loans may accompany you for a decade or more, a car loan may be paid off within a year or two. When you tally up all of your expenses excluding rent or your current mortgage, you should have about 30 percent left over for your future mortgage. Keep in mind that you still need to have enough money for savings, the occasional emergency and of course a vacation here or there. It is too easy to make the number match just to get into the house of your dreams only to then run up credit card debt for groceries, gas, and vacations.
Last but not least, stay away from adjustable rate home loans! Sure a teaser rate of maybe one or two percent is a great incentive, but sooner rather than later the interest rate will go up and your monthly payment will skyrocket! As a matter of fact, did you know that many adjustable rate home loans have a cap as high as 12 percent? This will make your home unaffordable very quickly, and if you are planning to stay in it for a while, you will be wiser to go ahead and look at the fixed rate home loans for security.