Many experts are predicting home prices will rise over the next year. While that is good news for current home owners, it is a negative 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:

       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, “fixer upper” mortgages are another set of options that few people know about, but definitely worth exploring (203k as they are known in mortgage terms). These mortgages can turn homes that are in the right location, but happen to be in less than perfect condition, into dream homes.

       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, home owners 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 a 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.

       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.

       Do you pay taxes every year?

We hope that you do! Websites abound listing the multiple tax deductions that can be taken as a home owner that are simply not available to renters. In addition to that, home owners 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.

       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 call me at 318-617-0431. Terri Axelson, MLO NMLS #1486324

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