Are You Ready For Home Ownership?
The purchase of a home is naturally the dream of many Americans. But the realities of home ownership may be different then you had imagined; successful home buyers have to be both financially and mentally prepared for the commitment.
Home ownership is much different than renting, despite what popular wisdom may tell you. Yes, you'll have the power to paint the wall whichever color you like, and own pets but you'll also be responsible for so much more. No longer the responsibility of a landlord, you'll know be the one in charge of the mortgage, property taxes and maintenance of the home. Before committing to a mortgage, potential home buyer need to take careful stock of both their expectations and the realities of their finances.
Questions for Prospective Homeowners
Are you ready to buy?
Home ownership is about more than being able to afford the mortgage each month. It's a long term commitment that will take up a significant portion of your income and time for things like property maintenance. Although owning real estate is often a sound investment, it will undoubtedly brings with it a certain degree of risk.
How much can you afford?
It can be extremely disappointing to discover the home of your dreams is beyond reach but the alternative is much less attractive. You could find yourself house-poor, financially crippled by the burden of a monthly payment for a home beyond your reach. It's a much better strategy to search for a home within your price range, one you can realistically afford over the long run.
What is your debt-to-income ratio?
This is something that lenders take very seriously. Your overall debt should not be more than 40% of your income, and your housing debt should not be more than 32%. 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?
Before realistically starting your real estate search, it's essential to take stock of what you truly value in a property. Are you interested in the wide open spaces of the countryside, or the conveniences of urban living? Are you willing to take care of lawn maintenance, or would you prefer to pay a monthly fee to have lawn care provided? The options vary on the communities you are interested in, but it's important to have a clear picture of what you want.
Let the Kibe Lucas Real Estate Team Help!
You need a good agent who will work hard for you. The Kibe Lucas Real Estate Team is dedicated to creating a positive experience from start to finish. We love nothing better than helping our clients find the home of their dreams, for the best possible price.
When it comes to buying a home, there are two sometimes competing priorities at play: how much home can you realistically afford, and which home fully meets your requirements. Our job is to find the home that meets both priorities fully, and close with agreeable terms.
Keep your key objectives top of mind. When shopping around for a new home it's incredibly easy to let your emotions take over. We suggest creating a list of your
"must-haves" to help keep yourself in the right frame of mind as you view each house. Your real estate agent would be more than happy to help you go over your wants versus needs list for each home viewed. Plus if we know exactly where your priorities lie, we can further curate our list of potential properties.
Engage the services of a good real estate lawyer. We can recommend several lawyers in the Wasilla-Palmer area who might be a good fit for you. Interview them 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.
Make the offer. This can be a maze of "buyer", "seller", "chattels", "deposit", and "completion". We'll be there every step of the way to help you create and process the correct paperwork and to walk you through each step in the process. It can seem overwhelming at time, but we'll be standing by to help make sense of it all!
Get all necessary 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. Not getting 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.
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, Kibe Lucas 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 process easier!
Contact the Kibe Lucas Team online or call 1-907-357-4663 for more information about first time home purchasing in the Wasilla-Palmer region of the Matsu Valley.
DISCLAIMER: The listing content relating to real estate for sale on this web site comes in part from the AK MLS IDX of Alaska Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (AK MLS). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Keller Williams Realty Alaska Group are marked with either the listing brokerage's logo or the AK MLS IDX logo and information about them includes the name of the listing brokerage.
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Listing information last updated on December 16th, 2018 at 6:19am AKST.