I am listening to Radio-Canada. The current talk show invites the audience to call in and comment on the circumstances we face today on our side of the border: the mid-term elections. It is fascinating to hear the points of view of people from backgrounds at once similar and very different from our own. It is more obvious today, because today we join in one national effort to voice our choice and values.
This event reaches far beyond American territory into every nook and cranny of our daily lives. It affects every branch of the economy, how we acquire the things we need and how we live.
Navigating the economy requires a good strategy. In Part 1 of this 3-part series, we took the first steps in a home buying strategy by identifying ways to profile an ideal neighborhood and list features to research more thoroughly. In Part 2, we explored the diversity and relevance of information we can acquire merely by paying particular attention to sights and sounds. In this article, we reach for the calculator and drawing board.
After narrowing your search down from neighborhood to street, it is time to consider how much home you can afford. The bank will pre-approve you based on your financial status and history, but only you can determine how your new home fits in your budget. For instance, if you are a globetrotter, you may decide that you would rather spend more on travels and less on your dwelling, or you might consider a residence that offers rental opportunity. Follow these three steps to help narrow down your options:
- Use mortgage calculators found online, or in your mind if you are good with numbers. Try different variations. See what fits. Your gut feeling will serve you well in this instance also.
- Explore your loan options. Speak with a mortgage specialist, request information of various types of loans and take the time to read thoroughly, including the very fine print. Ask questions. Ask questions (worth repeating!).
- Decide how this applies to your vision of your home. You will be negotiating with yourself and immediate family members at this point. As you might imagine, many variables will affect the outcome, but it will be an outcome you have chosen intelligently and one you know you can live with.
As our economy and personal finances change, for better and sometimes for worse (hopefully only temporarily), we must be ever more informed and creative when we make important decisions such as purchasing a home. Thankfully, information and knowledge are more accessible than ever for home buyers and sellers, and industry standards ever higher for Real Estate and banking professionals. We have come a long way.
See the full Front Door article HERE.