If you’re thinking about buying a house in Chatham County, Georgia, it’s crucial that you first think about what your long-term goals are and how homeownership might fit in with those goals. Maybe you’re tired of wasting money on rent, or maybe you’re ready to fulfill the American Dream. Homeownership can be a great sign of independence, and it’s an investment that opens more doors than you might think. Here are a few things you should consider before making that huge investment:
- Your financial health
The first and most important thing to consider before you even think about becoming a house buyer is your finances. Buying a home can be expensive – so you need to consider whether you can afford both the upfront cost of a home, as well as the ongoing expenses of owning a home.
First, look at your savings. If you don’t have an emergency savings account holding enough money to cover at least three to six months of living expenses, you might have to hold off on house buying. When you first buy a property, the upfront costs – including the deposit and closing costs – will be huge. To keep yourself out of a sticky situation, it is crucial that you have enough money saved to cover both those costs and any unexpected emergencies. Many lenders will actually require this before they even consider you for a mortgage.
Then, review your spending. Before buying a home, you should know exactly how much you’re spending each month, and on what. By working this out, you’ll be able to figure out how much disposable income you can put towards a mortgage payment without depriving yourself of the lifestyle you’re accustomed to. Make sure that you account for everything, so that you can budget properly: your utilities, food, car maintenance and payments, any debts including student debts, clothing, activities, savings, etc.
Finally, check your credit. To qualify for a home loan, you’ll need to have a good credit score, a history of paying bills on time, and a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 43%.
- Which type of home do you want?
Think carefully about what you’d like a home for – are you single, a couple, do you have kids or are you looking to start a family? Do you have any mobility issues that might require an accessible home? When looking at a residential home, consider whether you want a traditional single-family home, a duplex, a townhouse, a condo, a co-operative, or a multi-family building with two to four units. You can save on the upfront cost of a home by buying a fixer-upper, but think carefully about whether you want to take on the commitment of renovating a home. The time, sweat and money required to turn a fixer-upper into a dream home may eventually outweigh the cost of a high upfront cost.
- Which features do you want your home to have?
It’s generally good to remain flexible on what features you want your home to have – it’s unlikely that every home will have everything you want – but this is a huge investment, so you should choose a property that fits both your needs and wants as closely as possible. Your list of features that you want should include basic desires – such as the size of your home, or being able to buy in a neighborhood like Chatham County, GA – as well as smaller details, such as appliances and room layouts. Take a look at real estate websites to get a sense of the pricing and availability of properties with your most desired features.
- How much mortgage are you entitled to?
Before you get excited about properties, you should first get an idea of how much a lender will give you as a first-time house buyer. You might have your eyes set on a $400,000 home, but lenders might only think you qualify for a $300,000 loan. This is usually decided by taking other factors into consideration, such as your existing debt, monthly income, and how long you’ve been at your current job. Make sure to get preapproved for a loan before you place an offer on any home. In a lot of cases, house sellers will not even look at an offer that is not accompanied by a mortgage preapproval.
- Can you actually afford that big of a loan?
Sometimes lenders will offer you a loan that is higher than you actually want or need. If a bank wants to lend you $400,000, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should borrow that much. Many first-time house buyers make this mistake and end up “house poor” – with little left to spend on utilities, etc after their monthly mortgage payments. When deciding how big a loan to take, consider the house’s total cost – not just the monthly payment. Take into account how high the property taxes are in Chatham County, GA, how much homeowners insurance will cost, maintenance and home improvement costs, and closing costs.
Here at Cash 4 Keys Home Buyers, we are cash house buyers in Chatham County, GA. Our business model is to help homeowners who need to sell a house fast (especially houses that need work) by buying their houses for cash… We then fix up the property, beautify the neighbourhood, and sell it “move-in” ready to hopeful first-time house buyers like yourself!
We pay for all of the repairs.
We pay for the closing costs.
We do all of the work, so you don’t have to.
Our goal is to make the whole process no hassle for you, so you can move on with your life and put this house behind you.
Know someone selling in New York? Let us know!