First Time Home Buyers
Are You Ready for Home Ownership?
Owning a home may be your dream, but in order for the purchase to be the happy and satisfying experience it was meant to be, you need to ensure that you are financially and mentally prepared for the responsibilities that come with it. Our First Time Home Buyers program helps customers throughout the Fargo area secure home loans and prepare for this big step.
Some people have a notion that home ownership is like renting, but with the power to have pets and paint the walls whatever color you like. However, while these privileges are available to homeowners in most municipalities, they come with the responsibilities of a mortgage, taxes and home maintenance. Preparing for home ownership requires you to take critical stock of your finances and your expectations.
Questions for Prospective Homeowners
Are You Ready to Buy?
…it’s about being prepared to maintain your home over the years, realizing that part of your income and time will go towards repairs and maintenance. It’s about being willing to take the risks of home ownership with a realistic expectation of the rewards.
How Much Can You Afford?
However, sacrificing a huge part of your income just to pay the mortgage can very quickly make home ownership a …burden rather than a point of pride. It’s better to buy a modest home now and look at purchasing your “dream home” in a few years.
What is Your Debt-to-Income Ratio?
What 32% of your income will buy depends on where you want to live. In rural or downtrodden areas for example, it can …buy a very comfortable residence and ample acreage. In highly sought-after urban areas however, it may not even buy a 400 square foot bachelor suite.
What Do You Want?
…Would obeying rules about when you can have your garbage cans out bother you, or do you want to live in a neighborhood where everything is ‘just so’? The answers to these questions can help you narrow down the search for the right type of property for you.
Can We Help?
1. You need a good agent who will work hard for you.
Our real estate team is dedicated to helping you find the right home, at the best price. We want you to find the home that will make you happy and successful in real estate ownership.
When you hire us to help with our Fargo First Time Home Buyers program, we want to know what you want and how much you can afford. Then we’ll find a way to merge these two priorities and find a residence that you’ll enjoy owning.
2. Keep your objectives in mind when visiting a home.
Sometimes the idea of owning a home can overwhelm your practical sense, so keep your feelings in check. Keep a list handy of the features that you need and want in a home, and judge each home by the list instead of by details that could distract you from your goal. When you’re alone with your agent, you can go over the pros and cons of each home. We can help you stay on track while still keeping our eyes out for a great property.
3. Engage the services of a good real estate lawyer.
A real estate lawyer can be a wise investment. Take the time to go through the interview process, to ensure that you get someone you can work with. The legalities of transferring land ownership can be dodgy, and a lawyer can be your best defense against future legal troubles. A good lawyer can charge several hundred to over a thousand dollars for their services, but the thousands of dollars saved in legal fees, later on, makes this a good expense.
4. Make the offer.
This can be a maze of “buyer”, “seller”, “chattels”, “deposit”, and “completion”. Through our Fargo First Time Home Buyers Program, we’ll be happy to prepare the paperwork and go through it with you before submitting it. Remember, the seller may reject or counter your offer, so even at this late date, avoid setting your heart on the home you hope to own. You may need to make an electronic funds transfer to the seller’s broker for earnest money—to prove the seriousness of your offer.
5. Get all inspections done.
A home inspector will check for signs of harmful materials like asbestos, lead paint and mold. They’ll also check for evidence of pests, faulty wiring and leaks. This is a crucial part of the home purchase. Notgetting an inspection done means that you could be stuck in a home with a bad case of black mold and no recourse other than to pay for its removal. Inspections will cost a few hundred dollars, but again, this is more than worth it in the end. There are several inspectors in the area that we’d be happy to recommend.
6. Do a final walkthrough before closing the deal.
We’d be happy to do this with you to make sure that everything agreed upon is completed prior to the final signing. From the first interview that determines your requirements to the moment that you receive the keys, we can help you with the complicated process of buying a home. Don’t hesitate to contact us to find out more about how we can make the home buying and first time home buyers loan process easier for your purchase in Fargo!