Deborah McLaughlin's Blog
303 Court St, New Bedford, MA 02740
1063 Tucker Rd, Dartmouth, MA 02747
It may be time to buy a new house. In fact, you may have known that it’s time for you to move for a while. The first few months that you literally reached over your spouse or children for your tooth brush, clothes or cooking utensils was upsetting but bearable.
When you’ve done all that you can with your current house
It may have irritated you. But, you didn’t find it so unnerving that you want to flee your house. But, it’s been over a year now and you really are fed up with the layout and maybe even the size of your home. You’ve already turned your basement into another bedroom and your attic is brimming with seasonal products and clothes that you only wear on special occasions.
Need for more space is just one reason to buy a house. Three other major reasons to buy a house are:
- Safer neighborhood – Multiple home invasions and eroding properties are a reason to buy a new house. Wait too late to buy a house under these circumstances and you might take a loss when you sell your current home.
- Construction – Should government agencies move to build a highway directly in the path of your house, you may have no choice except to move. You can fight the construction. But, you may not win the battle. As soon as an announcement goes out that construction will take place directly in the path of your current house, it may be a good idea to start house shopping. It’s also a time to ask the government agency that is doing the construction how much financial support they will give you. Try to see if you can get the cost of a new house covered.
- House care – Health issues, including growing older, can cause the time and energy that it takes to maintain your house become too much. For example, you might suffer a stroke or another health condition that requires you to move to a house that has a wheelchair ramp. You may also move to a new house to be on a bus line. This type of move could keep you in your own home and out of a public assistance facility.
Moving is one of the biggest choices that you may make. That applies whether you move to a new house or into an apartment. Reason being is that by making a move, you invite a lot of newness into your life. You’ll live around different neighbors. Your commute to and from work will change. You may also live closer or further away from your in-laws, if you’re married. That alone can cause a great deal of change.
Yet, even with the changes that moving to a new home brings, there are times when you have to move. If you improve your finances, keep your house free of unused furniture and unnecessary storage items, you could make moving to a new home a lot easier. You could also increase your chances of landing a good mortgage deal.
Buy a house and you probably just made the largest purchase of your life, a decision that will impact you daily. Buy the right house and you can finally start to feel rooted, as if you found the place where you feel balanced and centered. You can make this house your own, hanging original art pieces and pictures on the walls and filling the space with furniture and knick knacks that showcase your remarkable personality, your amazing style.
Stop guessing how much house you can afford
If you let yourself develop your creative muscle, there’s a strong likelihood that you created those original art pieces yourself. Clearly, buying a house is about more than the base price of the house. It’s about stepping into new experiences. Allow those experiences to be rewarding, certainly financially stress free. But, that won’t happen like magic. It takes thought, action and understanding. You can do it.
You must know everything that you’ll be responsible to pay for before you buy a house. It could keep you out of foreclosure should you or your spouse get laid off. It could keep you from taking on debt that will put your finances in a gripping headlock. Specific fees that you may incur when you buy a house vary, depending on the lender. However, general fees and costs you can expect to be responsible for include:
- Base price of the house (It’s easy to think that the base mortgage is all you’ll have to repay when you buy a house. But, although it’s the largest chunk of what goes into a mortgage, the base price or principal of a house is only one piece of the costs.)
- Interest or adjustable rate mortgage (Adjustable interest rates may start lower, but they can shift upwards and put your mortgage out of reach. Research lenders. Make sure you’re not working with a predatory lender.)
- Property taxes
- Down payment (The bigger the down payment you can put on your new house, the better. It can lower your monthly mortgage payments significantly.)
- Closing costs (Try to negotiate a deal that splits closing costs with sellers. You might even get a deal where house sellers pay all of the closing costs.)
- Homeowner’s association fees
- Mortgage insurance
- Homeowners insurance (This is separate from the mortgage insurance. Homeowners insurance covers the costs of damages the house may incur during natural and human-made disasters. This insurance is similar to car insurance.)
- House inspection fees
Eliminating mortgage fee surprises helps you enjoy your home
There is more than one way to become a homeowner. Options include rent-to-own, a newly built house and buying an old house that you restore. Housing communities also vary, giving you the chance to move into communal housing neighborhoods, single family homes, tiny houses, mobile homes and elegant Victorian houses. You could also make the land more a priority than your living space, especially if you aim to start a farm or another outdoor business.
Go with the housing option that best matches your personal needs. You’re probably going to be spending a lot of time in your new home. But, don’t just fall in love with your house. Set yourself up for financial success. Be aware of all costs that go into your mortgage before you buy a house. Also, understand additional costs that you are responsible for paying a lender that aren’t built into your monthly mortgage payments. Shop for and buy a house with your eyes wide open.