The New Year is almost here and with the New Year comes New Years Resolutions. The promises we make to ourselves to make us better people. We all want to eat better, live better lives, or maybe this is the year we stop that one bad habit we’ve been meaning to kick…. but have you thought about making this year’s resolution one that will last well into the future? Deciding to become a homeowner is a one of the BEST resolutions you can make!
Let’s explore some tips to help you make good decisions for your homeownership resolution.
Figure Out Those Finances
The first step in this process and the most important is determining how much you can afford. There are a lot of factors that you should consider when making this decision.
What’s your credit rating?
What are your current expenses?
What’s the cost of a down payment?
We also advise that you check your credit report carefully. Inaccurate information on your credit report could result in lenders offering you loans with higher-than-market interest rates or denying your application altogether.
Take the Time to Find the Right Mortgage
It’s extremely important to find a lender you can trust. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends, family and neighbors for recommendations. You want to work with a qualified lender on pitting together a budget and gathering helpful advice before buying your home.
When you are shopping for a mortgage be sure to consider all of your options. There are a plethora of choices in terms of a loan and not every option is right for every buyer.
Do your research! Federal Housing Administration (www.fha.com) has programs that offer loans with lower down payments.
The FHA is more often than not a good option for first-time buyers.
Keep in mind that there are tax advantages to being a homeowner that can help offset costs. Depending on your specific situation, often the closing costs and some other first-year costs of purchasing a home are deductible.
The mortgage interest deduction (MID) enables many homeowners to reduce their taxable income by the amount of interest paid on their mortgage loan each year. More than 70 percent of homeowners with a mortgage are able to claim the MID in a given year.
The U.S. Housing and Urban Development website (portal.hud.gov) has loads of information for home buyers, including tools to help you figure out how much you can afford, how to shop for a loan, information on how to avoid predatory lending and an explanation of the settlement process.
Research the Neighborhood
Finally, learn about the neighborhoods where you are interested in buying. Be sure to visit areas you are interested in at different hours, talk to people who live there, and find a real estate agent that you trust and knows the neighborhoods you like.
With careful and thorough planning, purchasing your new home is one New Years resolution you can keep!
Have a great 2015!