Sunday, October 28, 2007

To buy or not to buy

I know you really want to buy that dream home you have always thought of. It is not always the best choice for you at the time. So you find a Real Estate Agent to show you homes. You know what you think you can afford based on the current rent you pay or not if living "rent free" with family. So you see several homes the agent picked and none really light your fire, so the agent takes you to others they are a higher sales price and of course you love them and you found one that you must have. Great! Now you are wondering if you really can afford this wonderful home and the agent tells you that on paper, YES you qualify. Another GREAT! So now you have bought your home and now your gutters have all fallen off and you don't have the money to replace or your washer has flooded in your home and your carpet needs to be replaced. In the meantime of checking with your homeowners insurance agent and/or your home warranty company you have to make spend money for the carpet or to go to the laundry mat or so on. These are all extra expenses you did not account for at the most jubilant time of your life. Buying a home is one of the biggest events to happen and the biggest purchase you will make. So being prepared definitely helps.
To qualify for the home with no money you can chose to use one of the down payment assistance programs(DPA) that is currently offered for FHA insured properties. The Seller of the home you like agrees to participate in the DPA program and this required 3% down payment is included in the sales price, therefore increasing your loan amount and house payment, but you don't have to put any money of your own into the transaction and you don't really have any money to anyway so you like this idea.
At this time FHA is looking to add tougher credit restrictions to allow the use of the DPA gift, which is good. Most people today need to really take a long hard look at their current credit picture and write how much money comes into the household and how much goes out to know how much y0u can start saving. In order to buy a home you should really have 6 months mortgage payments saved in the bank. You never know when you will need that money. Owning a home adds a lot of new responsibility to your life now.
Real Estate Agents want to make the sale to gain the commission and don't always tell you all the pitfalls to becoming a first time homeowner. There are a handful that will help counsel you, but it is always best if you do your research before you start looking. Once you start looking and see something you like you usually can't say no. So be prepared. You will sleep easier at night knowing you CAN afford your home and you were prepared.

Today is the best time to start saving, planning and preparing.

Remember: The harder you work the luckier you get

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