Steve Swanson PO Box 2426 Redmond, WA 98073 Mobile: 425.736.6849 Email Steve

Thinking About Buying Your First Home?
Thinking about purchasing your first home? Here are some points of consideration to keep in mind:

  How long you plan to live in the home.
If you purchase a home and decide to move after only a short time, you may end up paying money in order to sell it. The value of your home may not have appreciated enough to cover the costs that you paid to buy the home and the costs that it would take you to sell your home.

HappyPeople03.jpgThe length of time that it will take to cover those costs depends on various economic factors in the area of the home. Most parts of the country have an average of 5% appreciation per year. In this case, you should plan to stay in your home at least 3-4 years to cover buying and selling costs.

  How long the home will meet your needs.
What features do you require in a home to satisfy your lifestyle now? Five years from now? Depending on how long you plan to stay in your home, you'll need to ensure that the home has the amenities that you'll need. For example, a two-bedroom dwelling may be perfect for a young couple with no children. However, if they start a family, they could quickly outgrow the space. Having an idea of what you'll need will help you find a home that will satisfy you for years to come.

  Your financial health - your credit and home affordability.
Is now the right time financially for you to buy a home? Would you rate your financial picture as healthy? Is your credit good? While you can always find a lender to lend you money, solid lenders are more skeptical if your credit history is not good. Generally, a couple of blemishes on a credit report will make you a good credit risk and could qualify you for the lowest interest rates.

Some say that you should refrain from borrowing as much as you qualify for because it is wiser not to stretch your financial boundaries. The other school of thought says you should stretch to buy as much home as you can afford, because with regular pay raises and increased earning potential, the big payment today will seem like less of a payment tomorrow. This is a decision only you can make. Would you rather be conservative and fairly certain that you can make your payment without stretching financially? Make sure that whatever you do, it's within your comfort zone.

To determine how much home you can afford, talk to a lender or use a "home affordability" calculator. Good calculators will give you a range of what you may qualify for. Then call a lender. While some may say that the "28/36" rule applies, in today's home mortgage market, lenders are making loans customized to a particular person's situation. The "28/36" rule means that your monthly housing costs can't exceed 28 percent of your income and your total debt load can't exceed 36 percent of your total monthly income. Depending on your assets, credit history, job potential and other factors, lenders can push the ratios up to 40-60% or higher. While we're not advocating you purchase a home utilizing the higher ratios, its important for you to know your options.

  Where the money for the transaction will come from.
Typically homebuyers will need some money for a down payment and closing costs. However, with today's broad range of loan options, having a lot of money saved for a down payment is not always necessary.  Talk to your lender or your Real Estate agent about some no down payment options. 

  The ongoing costs of home ownership.
Maintenance, improvements, taxes and insurance are all costs that are added to a monthly house payment. If you buy a condominium, townhouse or in certain communities, a monthly homeowner's association fee might be required.

If you are still unsure if you should buy a home after making these considerations, you may want to consult with an accountant or financial planner to help you assess how a home purchase fits into your overall financial goals.

5 Things Everyone Needs to Know Before Purchasing Their First Home
You’re going to buy a home. You’re going to invest in your future (instead of investing in your landlord’s future!). You’re going to own a little piece of your city and have a place to truly call your own.
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First-Time HomeBuyer Programs

The definition of a first-time homebuyer is a person who has not owned and lived in the primary residence within the past three years.

 

So, though anyone who is looking to buy and has never owned in the past is a first-time homebuyer ... by definition you can have been a homeowner at a time in the past and still be considered a first-time homebuyer under certain conditions...

Example:

Let's say a divorced person is still on title of a home but has not lived in the home as a primary residence within the past three years.  By definition, this person would be considered a first time homebuyer.

 

Or, if you had owned and lived in a home in the past but not owned within the past 3 years, by definition, you would be a first-time homebuyer.

 

Steve Swanson is an instructor teaching First-Time Homebuyer classes sponsored by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission.  Contact Steve for dates and locations of upcoming first time home buyer classes or for more information regarding first time homebuyer programs.

 

If you are looking to purchase a home, condo or house, and can qualify as a first-time homebuyer, there are many programs available that might help you obtain a downpayment assistance grant and possibly even secure a low interest home mortgage loan.

 

 

For more information, research using the links provided below ... or contact Steve Swanson.

 

 

                 ARCH

 

 

 ARCH Plus House Key   House Key Plus ARCH

 

 

WSHFC

 

 
 

 

HOUSE KEY HomeOwnership Programs        Downpayment Assistance Programs

 

 


 


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Steven L Swanson is a Managing Broker affiliated with Coldwell Banker Danforth, Inc and a Realtor©.

11300 Pinehurst Way NE, Seattle, WA  98125   ph:  206.971.8800
Direct Mail:  PO Box 2426 Redmond, WA  98073-2426  Cell:  425-736-6849
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