By Cheryl Makrinos
Feb 15, 2013
Q: How do I know if I am ready to buy a home?
A: With home prices cooling off and mortgage rates at ultra-lows, more and more people are questioning if now is a good time to buy.
So how do you know when you are ready? Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or an experienced homeowner, you need to approach a home purchase decision like you would any business decision. That starts by sorting out your current finances and making sure you have a reliable source of income to cover the monthly mortgage payments and all the extra expenses that come with home ownership.
Before you approach a Realtor or go to your first public open house, you should get prequalified for a mortgage by a lender. Then, you will know how much house you can afford and what you need to save for the down payment, loan origination and closing costs.
You will also need to factor in other incidental costs like home inspections. Once your financing is in order, you should research all aspects of the areas you would like to live in and develop your home wishlist. Then under the guidance of a local, experienced Realtor, the home shopping process begins.
— Cheryl Makrinos, Sotheby’s International Realty, 203-618-3147