The idea of buying a home can feel like an impossible dream for many people. There are so many obstacles in the way that they often assume they can’t do it and stick to renting instead. Although there’s nothing wrong with renting and many millions of people do it all across the world, owning a property will give you more security, and it will give you something to use to fund your retirement should you want to. We’ve listed a number of different ways that you might be able to overcome those obstacles and actually buy your dream home after all.
The Down Payment
The down payment can be the biggest hurdle of all when it comes to buying a house. You might meet every other criterion, you may have more than enough coming in each month to pay the mortgage and all the bills associated with owning a home, but without that down payment (usually set at 20 percent) you can’t even get started. It’s a problem that most would-be homeowners have to face.
It may not be as difficult to overcome as you think, however. Firstly, that 20 percent figure may not be completely set and it’s always worth discussing the options with your realtor if you see a house that you love and can see yourself living in. There are some lenders who will allow you to put down just three percent, although this will depend on your circumstances and your credit rating. It will also make the mortgage bigger, so your monthly repayments will need to be calculated. You may also need to take out private mortgage insurance.
Another issue when it comes to buying a property is your credit. Even if you have the down payment available and you have the income to pay the mortgage, having a bad credit score can mean that you aren’t able to get a mortgage, or you would have to opt for one with a high-interest rate. If bad credit is the only issue holding you back from buying somewhere to live, then you need to work on fixing it. Take a look at your credit report to see where the problems lie and then work at paying everything off. You may need to use the money you set aside for the property to do this, but once you have paid everything, the money you would have spent on your debt can go towards your down payment, plus your credit will be better.
It’s best not to take on any additional large debts when you are hoping to buy a house, so put off buying a car or taking out a loan for a vacation until after the deal is complete. What you can do, however, is to apply for a credit card from Bonsai Finance. These cards are for people will bad credit, and they can help you to rebuild your score quickly.
It’s always good to know what your price range is when you are house hunting, but it can be disappointing to find that the only properties you like are ones that are outside of what you can afford. There are ways around this issue though. Even if you can’t increase your budget (and you should never overstretch yourself), you can increase the number of properties available to you by making a checklist of the things you must have and the things that would be nice to have. If you definitely need three bedrooms but you don’t mind whether there is a driveway, you will open up more options, for example.
Working out what you can and can’t compromise on can help you when it comes to purchasing a home and also when it comes to organizing your priorities in general.
Buying a property, especially for the first time, can be a scary thing to do. You are taking on a lot of debt and a big commitment, and it is this rather than anything else that worries people. A mortgage is a 25 or 30-year loan and mortgage payments are high. Committing to spending out that kind of money over that kind of time frame can be off-putting. However, you should think of it in terms of your rental options. Rents and mortgage payments are very similar, yet with a mortgage, you are paying your debt down so that eventually you won’t have to pay anything to live in your home. Rent, however, will never go down and may even increase over time. You can see that a mortgage isn’t quite as scary as you may have thought when you compare it to the rent you’re already paying.
When you retire, assuming you have timed things just right, you will have no more mortgage payments to pay, making your retirement fund go a lot further whether you choose to sell your home or continue to live in it. Plus when you own a home, there are far fewer restrictions on what you can do with it. Renting can be pretty prohibitive, especially when it comes to home improvements.
Even if you meet all of the criteria, you have enough money, and you’ve found the right property for you, getting started on buying a house can be daunting, so much so that you may find that by waiting you miss out on the home of your dreams. The best thing you can do is to research mortgage applications and house buying in your state because each one will be different, just as each lender will ask for different criteria so that you know what to do. Do this before you go looking for a property so that you are fully prepared when you do find somewhere to live.
Make sure you know what all the costs of moving and living in the property are going to be before you commit. It’s not just the mortgage that you will be paying monthly, there will be gas and electricity costs, water bills, broadband and cable packages, and taxes too.
Featured image by Binyamin Mellish from Pexels.