By: Christel Silver Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers
Maybe your dream of buying a home comes true in 2019. The best reason to buy your home is that when you pay off your home, it is yours. The only things you have to pay are taxes, utilities, repairs and maybe a monthly HOA fee. You also have some tax advantages of deducting the interest on your mortgage payment and the real estate taxes.
Your rental payment is an expense – your home ownership is an investment. Even if your upfront money is more, buying a home is a better value in the long run. If real estate appreciates, you increase your equity faster. Homeownership also gives you a better credit history. Your landlord may not report your on-time payments, so it may not help you build good credit.
So where do you start:
- Talk to a mortgage lender. My suggestion is to talk to a live person in your area – not the Internet! Ask your friends who they used and whether they were happy. I always give my clients three lenders to talk to. The lender will look at your credit report, income, debt ratio, and your savings. All are important criteria to be able to purchase a home. The interest rate the lender will offer you is based on your credit score and income.
- If you have enough savings to buy the house – no need to talk to a lender, but my suggestion would be to talk to your CPA, whether it makes sense to use all your cash for the purchase rather than getting a loan.
- Once you have been prequalified, you can start the house hunting process. I am sure you know the area where you want to live. If not, drive through the neighborhood to get a feel. You know how far away from your job location you want to be, or whether you want to be close to the beach, tennis facility, golf course, or place of worship.
- You know the price range you can afford. You might be able to get qualified for more than you want to spend. But the mortgage amount plus the savings you have available are the maximum for the sales price. You have to ask yourself, do you want a condominium? Single Family Home? Townhouse? How many bedrooms? Every buyer has certain features the house must have. But please be smart: do not only look for houses with a fence, because you need a fence. You eliminate many houses that might be a better fit. A fence can easily be built after you own the house, provided the code and HOA rules allow a fence.
- Did you know that the Realtor® you work with, works for you for ”free”? The commission is paid by the seller, so why not use their service. The Realtor® will know the area and can get you up to date information on the availability of homes. Interview one or two Realtors and work with the one you feel most comfortable with. Ask your friends for recommendations.
- Once you have a ratified contract, you need to have an inspection, find insurance, and discuss with the title company how to take title. Your Realtor® is by your side to guide you.
About Christel Silver
Christel Silver is a full time Broker/Owner of Silver International Realty servicing the East Coast of South Florida. Silver is a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS), and a certified speaker teaching CIPS classes. She served the Florida Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Chapter as President, as Regional Vice President helping Chapters to grow, and as a member of the Board of Directors for two years. She is the Global Ambassador for Austria and Germany in 2019. Fifty percent of her business is in the International arena. For more information visit www.silverhouses.com.