How much does my real estate agent need to know?
Real estate agents would say that the more you tell them, the better they can negotiate on your behalf. However, the degree of trust you have with an agent may depend upon their legal obligation. Agents working for buyers have three possible choices:
They can represent the buyer exclusively, called single agency,
or represent the seller exclusively, called sub- agency,
or represent neither party, and be a transaction agent.
What can I afford?
Know what you can afford is the first rule of home buying, and that depends on how much income and how much debt you have. It pays to check with several lenders before you start searching for a home. Most will be happy to roughly calculate what you can afford and prequalify you for a loan. The price you can afford to pay for a home will depend on six factors:
1. gross income
2. the amount of cash you have available for the down payment, closing costs and cash reserves required by the lender
3. your outstanding debts
4. your credit history
5. the type of mortgage you select
6. current interest rates
Another number lenders use to evaluate how much you can afford is the housing expense-to-income ratio. What you bring in as income versus what is spent on bills is the balance that lenders will need to look at. Picture a see saw, with those two items being on it, trying to balance. A trusted lender can help you make these two meet, ask your Realtor for some places to start your lending search.
When is the best time to buy?
Here are some frequently cited reasons for buying a house:
* You need a tax break. The mortgage interest deduction can make home ownership very appealing.
* You are not counting on price appreciation in the short term.
* You can afford the monthly payments.
* You prefer to be an owner rather than a renter.
*Marriage? Baby? Need more space? Perhaps downsizing? These are all great reasons to become a home onwer.
* The AMERICAN DREAM!