Accept it! Buying a Home is a big deal… most likely it is the largest purchase you will make in your lifetime. Now on top of the largest purchase let’s add all of the emotional factors. Is it any wonder that you may feel a little excited and happy one moment and then anxious, unsure and completely overwhelmed the next. RELAX… You’re in the right place. Together we will break it down and then step by step assist you with the information you will need to make the best decisions for the options available to you so you can purchase with confidence!
Lets break this down into three sections: 1. WILLING 2. READY 3. ABLE
1. WILLING; First thing is to have an Honest gut check. This is the personal emotional desire we define as “want”. We want to move away from something or we want to move towards something… “I want to move out of my parents basement” or “I want my children to have their own room” or “I hate paying rent”. The emotions or feelings underlying our reasons vary but these are the driving force that we will call motivation or the willingness to make a change.
2. READY; Is now the time? Do you need to finish your education? Are you waiting to get married/divorced or expecting a child? Did you just sign a new lease? Anticipating a job change? Are there circumstances that may stop or delay your plans? Are there outside pressures such as the Landlord just raised the rent 25% or put the house up for sale?
3. ABLE; This is the numbers that the Lenders will use. CIA… Credit, Income, Assets. We will break this down in following sections. Before you approach a Lender you should have a basic idea of your individual comfort zone which may vary greatly from the Lenders numbers.
So we have established “want”. Next lets discuss “want” verses “need”
Download “Home Needs Analysis” if there is more than one person you may want to each do your own and then compare. Determine what you can live without. You may want a fireplace or garage but you may need three bedrooms. What are the deal breakers. This will become important in the home search. Don’t wast time looking at a two bedroom home if you must have three bedrooms. You may consider finishing a basement but if the home is constructed on a slab it may not be cost effective to dig a basement but you might however be able to build a garage or add a half bathroom. Be open and flexible.
Next we will want to consider style, type of ownership, square foot, location and condition of our home. Be honest, if you can’t operate a screw driver and or have no time or funds available, a fixer up home may not be for you.
You may want a single but need the square foot offered at the same value for a twin or town house.
Ownership or associations… There are three main types you will find in South Eastern PA. 1. No Association 2. PUD or Planned Unit Development which means you own some ground but there is also common ground that you will be responsible for through the association. Generally you will be responsible for exterior maintenance of the home (roof, siding) 3. Condo also has an association but stricter control. Generally the association is responsible for all exterior maintenance (roof, siding, common ground) and may also have amenities like a pool, clubhouse etc. and come with a higher association fee.
NOTE: There is no physical description of a Condo. A townhouse may fall into any one of these types of ownership and it is posible to have a single family home that is part of a condo association… more on these later.
OK… So you are motivated and ready now let’s move on the the next section and discuss Able. “What Can We Afford”