Are you ready to buy?

Are you ready to buy?

Buying a home can seem like an intimidating process. There are a million details to consider when purchasing a home. Markets always vary but historically real estate has been one of the highest performing investments that you can make. The more informed that you can become as a buyer before purchasing the less frightening the process will become.

The first step to buying is getting your finances in order:

8 Steps to Getting Your Finances in Order


Develop a family budget

. Instead of budgeting what you’d like to spend, use receipts to create a budget for what you actually spent over the last six months. One advantage of this approach is that it factors in unexpected expenses, such as car repairs, illnesses, etc., as well as predictable costs such as rent.


Reduce your debt

. Generally speaking, lenders look for a total debt load of no more than 36 percent of income. Since this figure includes your mortgage, which typically ranges between 25 percent and 28 percent of income, you need to get the rest of installment debt—car loans, student loans, revolving balances on credit cards—down to between 8 percent and 10 percent of your total income.


Get a handle on expenses. You probably know how much you spend on rent and utilities, but little expenses add up. Try writing down everything

you spend for one month. You’ll probably see some great ways to save.


Increase your income

. It may be necessary to take on a second, part-time job to get your income at a high-enough level to qualify for the home you want.


Save for a downpayment

. Although it’s possible to get a mortgage with only 5 percent down—or even less in some cases—you can usually get a better rate and a lower overall cost if you put down more. Shoot for saving a 20 percent downpayment.


Create a house fund

. Don’t just plan on saving whatever’s left toward a downpayment. Instead decide on a certain amount a month you want to save, then put it away as you pay your monthly bills.


Keep your job

. While you don’t need to be in the same job forever to qualify, having a job for less than two years may mean you have to pay a higher interest rate.


Establish a good credit history. Get a credit card and make payments by the due date. Do the same for all your other bills. Pay off the entire balance promptly.

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Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine Online by permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.


Here is what one first time home buyer had to say about working with Perfect Properties:

"The experience of buying my first house had the potential of being difficult and frustrating, but from the first meeting I had with Korin, I felt at ease, knowing she had everything under control. I felt a confidence in my relationship with Korin that together, we would find the perfect property to make as my first home. Throughout the challenging process of finding a house that fit my specific needs, my intermittent feelings of defeat were quickly combated by Korin's positive attitude that there was the perfect house out there just waiting for us to come across. Looking back, I couldn't have had a better experience with buying my first home. I had a person who I trusted to help me with the biggest investment that I have ever made and I know it was the right choice! I love my new home and foresee many years ahead of me enjoying all my new neighborhood has to offer me."

Cristi Brooks