1. Firstly, you need to be pre-qualified and you should have saved 15% to 20% of the price of the home you are likely to purchase. This will cover your deposit and closing costs.
  2. Check the selling prices of comparable homes in your area. Our website can facilitate this comparison and can give you a general idea of what you should expect to pay. Our website is home to the entire Multiple Listing System database.
  3. See what you can afford. Use our mortgage calculator to see what your payment would be, get a sense of the maximum you should spend.
  4. Find out your total property taxes and maintenance costs where necessary, ask your Realtor and he/she will guide you. In some areas, what you'll pay for your property taxes, maintenance and insurance can almost double your annual payments.
  5. To get an idea of what you'll pay in peril insurance, pick a property in the area where you want to live and make a call to a local insurance agent for an estimate. You won't be obligated to get the insurance, but you'll have a good idea of what you'll pay if you buy.
  6. Find out how much you'll likely pay in closing costs. The upfront cost of settling on your home shouldn't be overlooked. Closing costs are charged by the government and the mortgage company. Our agents will be delighted to give you guidance in this area. Closing costs ranges from 5% to 7.5% on most occasions that are financed through a mortgage. Your closing costs include payments to three important professionals: Conveyance Attorney, Valuator and Land Surveyor. The Attorney protects you through the purchase, the Valuator determines the value of the property and the Surveyor verifies the location. Don't be penny-wise and pound-foolish as many purchasers have been burnt in the past who have failed to use the services of these professionals.
  7. Look at your budget and determine how a house fits into it. We recommend that buyers spend no more than 35% of their income on housing costs. Go much past 40% and you risk becoming house poor.
  8. Talk to our realtors about the real-estate climate. Do they believe prices will continue falling or do they think your area has hit bottom or will rise soon?
  9. Remember to look at the big picture. While buying a house is a great way to build wealth, maintaining your investment can be labor-intensive and expensive. When unexpected costs for new appliances, roof repairs and plumbing problems crop up, there's no landlord to turn to, and these costs can drain your bank account.
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