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Limit your house payment to no more than 25% of your monthly take-home pay. This payment includes principal, interest, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance and, if your down payment is lower than 20%, private mortgage insurance (PMI). Plus, don’t forget to consider homeowner’s association (HOA) fees when preparing your budget. Save at least a 10–20% down payment. A 20% or more down payment helps you avoid PMI—an extra fee added to your mortgage to protect your lender (not you) in case you don’t make payments. Anything less than 10% will drown you in extra interest and fees. Saving a big down payment like this is possible! If you stay patient and motivated, you can save for a five-figure down payment by this time next year.
Have an Emergency Fund: If you lost your job tomorrow would you have enough money to live off while you look for a new one? If not then you’re not alone. This study found that although Americans are doing a better job at saving, around 24 percent of them (57 million people) don’t have an emergency fund. Now I don’t want to be a negative Nancy or a Debbie downer, but emergencies happen all the time. They may not happen to you, but it’s always good to be prepared. You can’t predict an emergency, but you can prepare for one. The best way to do so is to set up an emergency fund of 3-6 months living expenses. That means if you lost your job tomorrow, you’d be able to live off your emergency fund for 3-6 months while you look for a new one. Net worth can seem like a tricky topic, but it’s quite simple. Your net worth is how much money you are worth. If you were to sell everything you own, then pay off everything you owe, how much money would be left?
What’s even more annoying is that you may have to fight to get your hands on the few properties that are out there, depending on the housing market in question. In popular metros, bidding wars will still take place, and they even become the norm again as they were in previous years. If the property is popular, there will always be someone willing to outbid you for that home they just must have. This is another reason why the fixer can be a winner, the hidden gem if you will. That being said, it’s okay to pay more than asking (or even the fully appraised value), just keep in mind that there are plenty of fish in the sea. Well, perhaps not plenty right now, but there’s always another opportunity around the corner. Stay poised and don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Like anything else, it’s okay to walk away. Trust your gut.
Location is by far the most important part of buying real estate. You can change condition, you can change price, you can’t change the location of a house. If there is one thing a buyer should never sacrifice on its location. The location of a house will have the largest impact on its price, and potential future appreciation. One analogy we use to demonstrate how important location is this: If you take the least expensive home in the world, and you put it in downtown New York City, it is worth millions. If you start shopping homes for sale in all different locations you’ll never build a proper frame of reference to understand what constitutes a great deal, a good deal, and a lousy deal. You want to become an expert in a certain area so that when it comes time to make an offer, you can do so with conviction and confidence. Find additional information at https://www.chicagorentclub.com/.
After narrowing the search to 2 or 3 homes, your agent will do whatever research is necessary to aid you in making your decision. Ultimately, however, it is your decision. Some tools that can help you make that final decision include school reports (if you have or are planning on having children), statistical information from the local chamber of commerce, future zoning or road expansion from local planning offices, etc. Whatever the factors of importance are to you, have your agent help locate that information. Once you have selected a single home to focus on, your agent will conduct a comparative market analysis on that property. This involves determining “fair market value” by looking at what other buyers were willing to pay for properties similar to yours in the same neighborhood or area.