You’re thinking about becoming a homeowner for the first time. What steps do you take in preparation, and what are some homeownership costs?
Start With A Plan
Start by creating a realistic budget. Jot down your current expenses like car loans, monthly credit card payments and grocery expenses. But what new costs will you need to account for?
- Property taxes – Search local tax records on like properties to get an idea of the cost.
- Homeowner’s insurance – A Mel Foster insurance agent can provide an estimate.
- Utilities – Credit counseling agencies claim that owners spend 5-10% of their annual income on utilities, including electric, water, gas, garbage, cable and streaming.
Prepare So You’ll Be Ready
Take steps that will simplify the buying process when the time is right to begin your search.
- Find a Mel Foster Co. agent and communicate what you’re looking for.
- Continue to set money aside, so you have a down payment.
- Check your credit score and work to improve it.
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage so financing won’t hold up a sale down the road.
Financial Assistance Programs Are Available
First-time buyers often have access to state programs, tax breaks and federally backed loans that can be approved even if you don’t have the minimum down payment. For example, take time to search DPA (Down Payment Assistance) loan options that can help cover the upfront costs of a down payment. Government-sponsored and private programs can help you pay closing costs, which often represent 3-6% of the total loan amount.
Find more tips for homeowners.