The strange thing is, in school, you never learn about buying a house. How do you do it? What is the process? Are there things you need to think about before you make that commitment?
The most important thing you can do before buying a house is to be informed. Be confident in your situation and educated enough in the process before it starts. Here are some things that you should think about and/or do before you commit to buying a property.
Your credit score will be a deciding factor in the yay/nay you get from the bank about the mortgage. Of course, in an ideal world, they would say yes, regardless. But the fact is that actually, your credit score is a pretty good indicator of if you will be paying the loan back as required or you are likely to default. If your credit score is low, then you will need to take the time to repair it before applying for anything.
You can go and speak to a lender long before you are looking at houses. This means that you can shop in confidence knowing that when you find the one you want, you will be able to make an offer without needing to check back with the bank. If your financial situation remains as it is now, you’ll be grand.
Mortgage. That is the only expense, right? Nope. Actually, you need to make sure that you have enough money saved for thinks like solicitor fees, notary fees, a professional home inspection, moving, furnishing… and so forth. It is surprising how many people forget what really needs to be budgeted in. But each of these serves an essential purpose, and you should ensure that you follow the protocol here. Imagine skipping the inspection only to find out that there are expensive repairs needed to the roof? Nightmare.
You wouldn’t drive a car without insurance, so why would you buy a home without it? The coverage that you buy will mean that no matter what happens to you, provided you have the correct cover, your partner or family will be safe in their home. Life insurance is a given, but on from that, you might like to consider insurance to cover job loss or long term illnesses. There are a lot of options that you can consider – speak to your bank and an independent insurance specialist.
One of the many joys of renting is that you don’t have to pay property taxes. This annual fee is one you can’t negotiate over, and you will need to pay it – no matter what. You can usually find the total on the home listing ahead of time – if you’ve been reading all of the information, then you’ll be fine. It typically amounts to between 1-2% of the property value. You can usually choose to divide this by 12 to make it more manageable.
When it comes to owning a house, it is a big financial commitment, but what you have to consider is how much more security comes with it in the long term.