Are you a first time home buyer in Idaho looking to get into this historically beneficial buyers market?
Before you jump in there are a few steps you can take to help you decide whether you are ready to take the plunge.
Check the selling prices of comparable homes in your area. Realtor Websites such as AA Realtors can give you a general idea of what you should expect to pay. You can also do a quick search of actual MLS listings in your area.
Can You Afford It?
See what you can afford. Use the mortgage calculator on my website to see what your payment would be. Find out what your total monthly housing cost would be, including taxes and homeowners insurance. To get a feel for the maximum amount you should spend, including taxes and insurance. In some areas, what you’ll pay for your taxes and insurance escrow can almost double your mortgage payment.
Insurance is Good
To get an idea of what you’ll pay in 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. For an idea of what you’ll pay in taxes, most properties on my website have property-tax information in the property features.
Find out how much you’ll likely pay in closing costs. The upfront cost of settling on your home shouldn’t be ignored. Closing costs include origination fees charged by the lender, title and settlement fees, taxes and prepaid items such as homeowners insurance or homeowners association fees.
Look at your budget and determine how a house fits into it. Fannie Mae recommends that buyers spend no more than 28% of their income on housing costs. Go much past 30% and you risk becoming “house poor”.
The Big Picture
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.
The best thing to do of course is talk to a reputable real estate agent like me 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? This insight into how the market is behaving could save you big money. Contact me for more info today!