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Is Home Ownership For You? Can You Afford It? Working With An Agent Mortgage Calculator
 

Is Home Ownership For You?

Are you a first-time homebuyer? Are you considering moving from a rental to your own property? Not sure whether to look at condominiums, single-family homes, or townhouses in Washington, DC? If so, youíre not alone. On average about 5 million homes are purchased each year and of those purchasers, more than 40% are first-time buyers.

But, is it a wise move? Rest assured that 70 million homeowners in America couldnít be wrong. And most are perfectly happy with their homes. And if they're not, they can always sell them and buy another. Of course, that doesn't mean that moving up to home ownership isn't a big step for a first-time buyer. It is, but it has big rewards. And thatís why Iím here to help. And as you've probably heard, homeowners get these extra benefits:

  • Privacy. Your owned home, to a surprising extent, is your castle.
  • Appreciation. When you sell, if the market goes up, you stand to make a substantial profit.
  • Tax Advantages. Most homeowners get to deduct most mortgage interest and property taxes from their federal income tax.

On the other hand, chances are you're also feeling some trepidation over taking the big step. What about those hefty payments you've heard about? What about coming up with a big down payment?

These are reasonable concerns and they are answered as you move further into the home-buying process. Nevertheless, you may still be seriously wondering if home ownership is for you. Perhaps you're the type of person whoíd really be better off renting indefinitely? Before that, however, letís discuss the finances.

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Can You Afford It?

Can you afford to buy a home? And if so, how big a home can you afford?

Both first-time home buyers as well as those who are selling to buy another property often get sticker-shock when they see the prices of homes. In recent years residential real estate prices in many areas of the country have gone up as much as 30% or more and are still climbing. At the same time the affordability index (the number of buyers who can afford to purchase the average home) has gone down. For most buyers, that means compromise.

In order to buy you may have to settle for a slightly smaller home than before. Or, if you want a larger home, you may have to be satisfied with a less-than-perfect neighborhood. Or, if you want neighborhood and size, you may have to move a further distance away from the city and work. There are a number of interconnecting factors that go into a purchase. Iím here to help solve those factors for you.

For most people, compromise is the rule and the bottom line is the maximum monthly payment and cash down. It's simply true that the more you can pay each month and the more cash you have in the bank (or equity out from a sold property), the better home, neighborhood and location you can afford to buy.

For most people, the result is stretching ≠ paying more than we want to. This gives some of us nervousness about huge monthly payments and no cash in reserve.

As with most worries, these are usually exaggerated. When you take a closer look, you will usually find that it's easier to afford a home than you at first thought.

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Working With An Agent

The quickest and easiest way to find a home is to work with an agent. Nearly 90% of all homes offered for sale at any given time are listed with agents. A real estate agent, like me, is the person who is best prepared to help you with your home finding needs. Further, the agent can be of help throughout the real estate transaction.

I can:

  • Help you determine the neighborhood where you want to live;
  • Give you details on schools, shopping and other nearby amenities;
  • Show you the right home;
  • Help you decide how much to offer;
  • Guide you through making a written offer-to-purchase;
  • Direct you to a lender;
  • Manage the transaction from offer through closing;
  • Discover and solve problems; and
  • Help with moving preparations.

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