Buying a house is a major financial responsibility, and should not be based solely on an emotionally-driven choice. While searching for a new house, it’s normal to think about the features and amenities that you want. A large master bedroom, a huge kitchen with an island, a patio in the backyard, and extra space to build a gazebo — all of these and more may be on your wishlist.
While there’s nothing wrong with finding the house of your dreams, you still need to think about your budget. Here’s how you can stay within your means:
1. Speak to a lender
Look for a mortgage lender in your area that best matches your needs. Find out what you need to know, such as the mortgage loan rates in Guilford, the qualifications they require, and the maximum loan amount that you can borrow.
A mortgage lender will be able to tell you how much you can borrow based on your current financial status, as well as the terms of the loan in case you get approved. In this way, you’ll have a clear idea of how much of a house you can buy so you can narrow down your choices for homes to what you can really afford.
2. Make a list of your wants and needs
What are your must-haves and what are your nice-to-haves for a house? Make a list of the features you need in a home (extra bedrooms, laundry room, two-car garage) and the features you want but don’t exactly need (patio, in-ground pool, outdoor shed). This will make house hunting much more manageable and will help you stick to your priorities.
3. Be objective
Easier said than done, but being objective can save you from buying a house that you love but can’t afford. Don’t fall in love with a home before finding out its price. Rather, don’t look at houses that you cannot afford in the first place. This is why consulting with a mortgage lender should be your first step. If you know what you can afford firsthand, you can only look at houses that are within your budget.
Nevertheless, avoid playing on your emotions when choosing a house. That fixer-upper Victorian house you fell in love with might be within your budget, but it can cost you a lot of money in repairs.
4. Consider houses that have been sitting for a while
Houses that haven’t been sold for quite a while don’t necessarily have something wrong with them. Sometimes, a house that’s not selling may just have weak curb appeal, or the market is too saturated in that area. Therefore, don’t hesitate to bid on these houses. The seller may be willing to give you a good price to get it out of their hands.
If you still feel hesitant due to possible hidden issues within the house, ask the seller if you can perform a home inspection before you bid on it.
A house is one of the most expensive things that you can buy in your lifetime. However, you shouldn’t go broke just to buy one. So, when you go house hunting, keep these tips in mind so that you can make a good decision.