When buying a home there are certain things you should consider and certain criteria you should define before you start house hunting.

  • Where do you want to live?
  • When choosing an area, are schools important?
  • How about the commute to work or shopping?
  • Taxes and Millage Rates should be considered as this can make a big difference in your monthly payment. Taxes are based on school district and taxing authority. Most importantly, don’t let anyone tell you the current taxes are what to expect in the future.
  • What can you afford? There is a difference between what you can actually afford based on your lifestyle and what you qualify for based on your income and debt ratio.

Things you should consider when making a decision on what you can afford include:

  • How much can you borrow?
  • What type of loan do you qualify for: Conventional, FHA, VA, Rural Development?
  • What is the payment?
  • How much do you need for a down payment?
  • How much do you need for closing costs?
  • Are you comfortable with the payment?
  • How will the anticipated payment affect your lifestyle?
  • Does the payment include taxes and insurance?
  • How much has the lender figured for taxes and insurance?
  • Did you know you need to pay one full year of homeowners insurance in advance?
  • What type of home would you like to purchase?
  • Ranch, 2-story, bi-level?
  • Do you need a basement and/or garage?
  • How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need?
  • Do you have any other priorities?