This article was written by our good friend Mark Artrip. Mark is a youth pastor, husband, father, and belongs to a family of red-heads. He is an all around great guy.
Mark‚Äôs Top 5 things to keep in mind when buying a home.
Buying a house is no small decision.¬† I thought I would take some time to share some things that are very important to think about as you take this major step in life.
1. Decide if you are ready to make this step – My wife and I saved and talked toward this for a couple years and didn‚Äôt move forward until we were on the same page.¬† Whether you are single or married know that financial strain is always stress on life.
2. Know what you want in a house – It sounds stupid, but people get excited when they see a sweet Theatre room and settle for a kitchen the size of a closet.¬† For my wife and I we had certain non-negotiables like a master bath off the bedroom, a two car garage, etc.
3. Know your budget – People get in over their heads all the time in the home buying process.¬† On top of buying the house there will be paint, repairs, furnishings, and lots of other startup costs that you need to try and plan for. This might mean buying a cheaper house if you plan for things like cable, house upgrades, etc.
4. Know the details of your mortgage.¬† Many people have been hurt by not knowing the way their mortgage worked.¬† Some look good in the beginning and than the interest rates spike at year five.¬† Others can trap you because of the way you qualified (first time home buyers) and you can‚Äôt sell the home without a penalty.¬†
5. Crunch the numbers – Run through your down payment (or lack thereof) against your interest and figure out what this will mean for your interest, mortgage, and life after you sign on the dotted line.¬† There are many different angles you can work for being a first time buyer or putting a certain percentage down.¬† Sometimes it helps to put down a lot and others it only effects your monthly payment by $6.¬† Speaking of mortgages, I don‚Äôt have time to explain it to you, but make sure you know what PMI is.