Buying a Home
Purchase the place you can call "home".
Committing to buying and owning a home is a major financial decision. Make sure you think through all aspects fully before taking the leap.
Determine how much house you can afford.
Evaluate your savings and income to determine how much you can designate for a down payment and what monthly mortgage payment you can realistically afford. It is also worthwhile to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start house shopping. This will help you narrow down the price range you should be looking at.
Know what you will be responsible for paying during the buying process.
As you move closer to your closing date, be prepared for the additional expenses that will pop up along the way. Oftentimes, some of these expenses are wrapped up in closing costs.
- Appraisal fee
- Survey fee
- Underwriting and origination fees
- Document prep fee
- Discount points
- Credit report fee
- Title insurance
- Recording fees
Consider the costs of property taxes and homeowners insurance.
In addition to your monthly mortgage payment, you will be responsible for paying for taxes and insurance. And, if you home is part of a homeowner’s association, you will need to budget for those added monthly fees.
Estimate utility bills.
Take a look at what the average costs are for heating, cooling, and powering the home you intend to buy. You will also want to consider the age of the furnace, hot water heater, and HVAC system. It may be beneficial to upgrade older systems to more energy-efficient systems so that you can save more in the long run.
Consider the costs of commuting.
Will you be moving closer to or further away from your work? Depending on your answer, you will need to factor in how this change will impact your transportation expenses.
Prepare for anticipated repairs and replacements.
While the lifespan of home features and appliances may vary, you will want to consider how soon you may need to be prepared to pay for upgrades.
- Roof: 20-30 years (depending on material)
- Carpets: 8-10 years
- Decks: 20 years
- Oil furnace: 20 years
- Gas furnace: 18 years
- Electric furnace: 15 years
- Central air conditioner: 15 years
- Gas range: 15 years
- Electric range: 13 years
- Refrigerator: 13 years
- Dryer: 13 years
- Freezer: 11 years
- Washing machine: 10 years
- Dishwasher: 9 years