Buying a house, town home or condominium puts your money to work for you. With each mortgage payment, you are building equity in your home.
Property values, in most areas, continue to rise faster than the interest paid on saving accounts. The interest paid on a mortgage loan is tax deductible. Rent payments are not. With a fixed rate mortgage loan, mortgage payments will stay constant. There is no limit on rental increases.
Home Buying Checklist
Before looking at properties, sit down and list your housing priorities. What is important to you? Is it access to transportation, a vital Jewish community, reputable schools, or style of house (old, new, fixer-upper)?
Home buying tip: Establishing priorities will prevent impulsive decision making. No need to end up in a house with a wonderful kitchen but meets none of the other requirements on your list.
If you have a relationship with a financial planner, contact him/her to discuss what you can realistically afford to offer as a down payment and for monthly mortgage payments. A mortgage broker can also discuss the current mortgage rate and the mortgage loan amount you will qualify for. Remember, your mortgage payments also include home owner insurance, property taxes, and assessments if you are purchasing a town home or condominium.
Once you've established what you want in -buying 1st home- you can either visit properties on your own, or work with a real estate agent. Many properties can be viewed virtually on the internet.
To find a qualified real estate agent ask colleagues, family and friends for referrals. Make sure the person you decide to work with is familiar with the area(s) your interested in. Why not take a digital camera along when looking at properties. After walking through three or four they tend to blur.
Once you've found a property that meets your requirements, and fits with your personal budget planning, it's time to make an offer. Your real estate agent can advise you on a realistic offer and counter offer(s) if necessary. The real estate agent should also specify any/all contingencies you would like included with the offer.
Common contingencies include a request for a home inspection, purchase contingent on sale of existing property and purchase contingent on ability to obtain financing.
If your offer is accepted, you will need to put up ernest money. Ernest money is a portion of the down payment given to either the seller or escrow agent.
The next step in purchasing a home is getting a mortgage.
Mazel tov on buying the perfect 1st home and getting your 1st mortgage!
Don't forget to affix your mezuzahs to the doorpost(s) of your new home.
© Jewish Wedding Planner, 2007