Make sure you can afford it
• This is a mistake make people made a few years ago and now are stuck with underwater mortgages. Do not let lenders and agents make you feel you can afford a million dollar home when you are only making a $70K salary. Think logically, a million dollar home will have an estimated mortgage payment of $5,127.91. A person making $70k a year makes about $5,833.33 a month. If you make your payment you will only be left with $705.42 to live with for the rest of the month.
Don’t forget about other expenses
• Now, with only $705.42 left you will have to pay bills, maintenance costs, groceries and sometimes emergencies. In the end all you will be left with is piling credit card bills and accumulating debt.
Choose the right realtor
• Do not hire the realtor who simply wants to make the sale. You can see this right away when they ignore the negative aspects about the property and only point of positive features to try and “sell” the property to you.
• Look for a realtor who understands what you are looking for and provides you with listings that meet your needs.
Once you know what your budget is, do your research
• Try visiting the property you are interested in during three different times, in the morning, afternoon and in the evening. This way you know what the traffic is like and what type of neighbors you might have. For example, the loud music playing neighbor who always has a hundred people over may be at work in the morning, but in the evening, on their free time, is when you will see this behavior and might change your mind.
• If you have children, look to see if the schools in that neighborhood are what you are looking for.
• Location, location, location! Very important for a growing family as well as the future if you try and sell your home. If your home is near the entrance of a freeway, chances are the value of your home will not be as high as expected.
• Ask neighbors about the neighborhood, surprisingly they will provide you with a lot of information, both positive and negative.
Think about the future
• If you plan on moving and using your residence as rental property, look into the history of the rent rates in that area. If it seems reasonable to you that’s another good reason to buy.