Many experts are predicting home prices will rise over the next year. While that is good news for current homeowners, it is not so good news for renters on the fence about buying their first home. In today’s fast-moving market, desirable properties for sale are literally here today and gone tomorrow.

If you’re debating about buying a home before prices go up or wondering if you can even afford a home, here are some things to ask yourself:

  1. Do you know what do you need for a down payment?

Not all mortgages are created equal. Some home loan options are available with little or no down payment, while others require 20 percent or more. That’s a big difference! Also, home renovation mortgages or FHA 203(k) Loans are another set of options that few people know about, but definitely worth exploring. These mortgages can turn homes that are in the right location but happen to be in less than perfect condition, into dream homes. With a FHA 203(k) Loan, you’ll be able to finance projects that range from simple improvements to complex home renovations.

  1. Do you have a mortgage lender lined up?

The HomeBridge team always recommends you meet with us long before you even start window shopping for a new home, but it’s not for the reasons you may think. Similar to how a landlord does not want their property to be vacant for a long period of time, homeowners looking to sell their properties are often eager to find a qualified buyer as soon as possible.

From the seller’s perspective, there is a big difference between a potential buyer who “says”they can offer the asking price now, and a buyer who has been pre-approved by a mortgage lender and can move right now, even if what they’ve been approved for is a little below what the seller has in mind.

  1. Do you have a good credit score and history of stable income?

Due to the previous housing industry collapse, mortgage lenders are going to take a hard look at your financial situation and recent employment history. At the same time, the HomeBridge team realizes that unfortunate things can happen which are beyond your control, and there are ways we can work with you on  specific loan programs to help you overcome these incidents.

  1. Do you pay taxes every year?

We hope that you do! Websites abound listing the multiple tax deductions that can be taken as a homeowner that are not available to renters. In addition to that, homeowners acquire equity as housing prices increase and when they sell, they can reap the rewards of rising home prices. Renters are simply paying off their landlord’s investment.

  1. Do you have cold feet?

The purchase of a home is a major commitment and having some hesitation is a very natural response. While some are fearful about paying off their mortgage, if you think of it in the same way as your monthly rent payment, much of that fear can go away. If you haven’t missed a rent payment in the last few years, what makes you think you won’t be able to pay your mortgage each month?

Important To Remember

When it comes to the purchase of a home, advanced preparedness is critical. Even if you’re thinking of buying next year, it’s important to start preparing now, so you have everything in place for when the time is right. If you’re interested in speaking with a HomeBridge mortgage professional, you can find a list of our offices nationwide by clicking here.

HomeBridge is licensed in 49 states, in addition to Washington, D.C. If there isn’t a branch in a convenient location for you, the HomeBridge National Lending Center would be happy to help you.

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We recognize this is a difficult time for many people. Click here or call 866-913-2951 for more information and to learn about current options available to our borrowers.