Okay so you are now an adult. When you are a child you think that being an adult means no rules and the ultimate freedom. When you become an adult you know that is very far from the truth. One thing many of us strive for once we reach adulthood is to become a homeowner. Home ownership is not for everyone. But is it for you?
When I got married we were bound and determined to become home owners. Our first home was this tiny thing – just 800 square feet with no basement. We spent most of our time outside and we had a nice piece of property – they house was just yucky. We always thought we would just add on or build a new home there but then life happened and we took a different path. We then purchased a two family home that we added on to – so my inlaws could live with us and at the time help care for our children. They are now elderly and no longer able to help care for our children but we do help care for them. Our next move will ultimately be a farm house with a barn – because this phase of our life now includes horses and we will look for all ways possible to save money – horses are expensive!
Things to consider when buying a home:
- Do you plan to stay in this location for a decent period of time? If not, then perhaps an apartment is a better alternative. It allows you greater flexibility to be more mobile.
- How do you feel about home maintenance? Mowing lawns? Shoveling snow? Landscaping? If you cringe at the thought of these then perhaps home ownership is not for you. If you are exciting at the prospect of digging in and DIY – then owning a home is perfect.
- What type of environment would you like your children to grow up in?
If you have come to the conclusion that home ownership is in fact for you, it is time to check your credit score and clean up your report. I know the first time I ran mine when we were looking at homes, I was surprised just how much was on there that shouldn’t have been. It can take a bit of time to get it cleaned up – so plan accordingly. The added benefit is that cleaning it up will ultimately improve your credit score.
And the most important task – find a lender. I recommend trying to find a lender who can pre-qualify you. That made a huge difference in our moving forward. There are many different loan types – you could choose a hard money loan if you have other real-estate to secure the loan. Set your budget and keep this in mind when applying for a loan. In my case because I am self employed, I also have the ability to get a self employed loans to help along the way. There are so many details to consider and sort through. Spend the time doing research and make sure you understand the process. Home buying can be stressful but if you plan accordingly it can go pretty smoothly.