1. DO A FULL CALCULATION OF WHAT YOU CAN COMFORTABLY AFFORD
Initially I played with online mortgage calculators to see how much we could afford. I got swept up in the big budgets I was seeing on the screen. Taking a step back I calculated how much we actually felt comfortable spending each month between our mortgage payments, taxes, insurance, maintenance, and utilities (call the utility companies to get an estimate of what your water, electricity, gas, and garbage may cost in the neighborhood).
Unfortunately, what we could afford was quite a bit lower than what I got from the online calculators. I’m happy I dealt with disappointment then rather than the stress of buying a house that was too much for us.
2. DON’T FORGET ABOUT CLOSING COSTS
And insurance, inspections, and immediate repairs. After being good little savers for years, we were thrilled to have enough saved for our 20 percent down. I didn’t give a ton of thought to the other expenses, because compared to the 20 percent down, how much could that actually be? A lot.
Closing costs can be 2-5 percent of the total cost of your house. And if you’re not prepared for them, it can catch you off guard. You’ll also want to be prepared to pay any inspections (though most of ours were paid by the seller), as well as any immediate repairs that need to be made before move in. Our house was “move in ready” but it was shocking to see how much we actually spent. Aside from some smaller things, we needed to buy a washer and dryer, a new shower door, and blinds for the bedroom windows. It all adds up, so be prepared.
read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/erica-gellerman/becoming-a-homeowner_b_8016082.html
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