Home Buying Help

Home Buying Help

A home is an expensive buy, no matter what kind it is, and affordability usually shy’s away potential buyers. If you are interested in purchasing a home, figure out first what you can actually afford — both for monthly payments and the initial payment (the typical down payment is 20% of the home price). The general rule of hand is to spend no more than 28% of your gross income on a mortgage, known as the “housing ratio”. Make sure you include all the other bills that you are currently paying off, college, cars or anything else. Buying a home can really take a lot from you financially.

With home prices down, foreclosures up, there is an influx of great homes ready to be bought with less competition bidding for them. The next year or so may present some prime buying opportunities for those willing to do some homework, and who meet the requirements of home ownership. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, one of the most important things to ask yourself when you start looking for a house is: “How easy will it be to sell?”

Sound personal-finance decisions usually involve thinking one step ahead. You should not be content just to get into a house that you emotionally fall in love with; rather, you should be looking to buy a house that you can get out of quickly, easily, and at a profit should life happen to throw you a curveball that will force you to move.

What characteristics lead to a house being highly “marketable”? Granted, there’s not an exact set of criteria that will be ideal for all people in all situations and markets, but the more factors you have working in your favor the better. We’re not talking about buying a house for the purpose of flipping it. We’re simply talking about buying a house that you can live in, put some sweat equity into over time, and then sell for a profit.

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