Homebuying advice abounds these days in this information age, and it can be difficult to know who to trust. But here’s just a bit of what we’re reading at TexasLending.com to better understand how to make safe home buys in the current, complicated, rapidly changing housing market:
Our friends at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have covered some of the basics:
Figure out how much you can afford for a new home.
What you can afford depends on your income, credit rating, current monthly expenses, down payment and the interest rate. Mortgage calculators …can help, but it is best to visit a lender to find out for sure.
Know your homebuyers rights about…
- Equal Opportunity
- Predatory Lending
- Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)
- Borrower’s Rights
According to MSN , two common home buying pitfalls include:
Not understanding your local housing market
Although it’s easy to get caught up in the gloomy national housing trends, prospective homebuyers should be paying more attention to what’s going on in the market where they are considering purchasing property. After all, home prices in your market could be moving in the direction opposite to the rest of the country.
Rushing into a foreclosed property
While foreclosures can offer homebuyers big discounts, such properties sometimes come with a great deal of baggage. For example, the previous owners could have left the home in poor condition, requiring thousands of dollars of repairs.
And CNN is always a housing sage:
Don’t buy a new home if you can’t stay put.
If you can’t commit to remaining in one place for at least a few years, then owning is probably not for you, at least not yet. With the transaction costs of buying and selling a home, you may end up losing money if you sell any sooner — even in a rising market. When prices are falling, it’s an even worse proposition.
Start by shoring up your credit.
Since you most likely will need to get a mortgage to buy a house, you must make sure your credit history is as clean as possible. A few months before you start house hunting, get copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you discover.
Aim for a home you can really afford.
The rule of thumb is that you can buy housing that runs about two-and-one-half times your annual salary. But you’ll do better to use one of TexasLending.com’s mortgage calculators available online to get a better handle on how your income, debts, and expenses affect what you can afford.