As the U.S. economy gradually recovers from the pandemic, first-time homebuyers face an intimidating housing market. This is already the most significant purchase most people will ever make. According to the Freddie Mac House Price Index, home prices are currently at historic highs. This fact adds yet another cause for trepidation for newcomers to this market.
Your Montgomery County home inspection experts at Inspection Professionals understand your concerns when considering the purchase of a home. We want to share some information here that will prevent you from making any big mistakes on the road to owning your first home.
How Much Can You Afford to Pay for a Home?
Going through a mortgage foreclosure is an unpleasant experience for anyone to endure. Be completely honest with yourself when assessing the amount of debt you can undertake for a home. Remember that there may be financially lean times, so you can’t allow your house payment to take up too much of your budget. You can always call the landlord to fix anything that breaks when you rent a home. As a homeowner, when the furnace or garage door suddenly breaks, it’s on you to pay a maintenance specialist to come out and fix it.
When coming up with a budget for a house purchase, our team at Inspection Professionals recommends that you keep the 28/36 rule in mind. Try not to take on a mortgage payment that is more than 28 percent of your pre-tax monthly income, and make sure this payment is not more than 36 percent of your total debt load. This will enable you to save some money each month for rough patches and unexpected events.
Be Realistic With Your Budget
The high nationwide demand for homes is also prevalent in the Pennsylvania counties that we serve. Whether you are looking for a home in Chester County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Montgomery County, or the City of Philadelphia, you can bet you won’t be the only person eyeing a particular home. This reality may force you to offer more than the asking price to make sure you get the home you want in your preferred location. For this reason, you should search for homes with asking prices that are a little under what you may be able to afford so that you have the extra financial room to offer more if you need to.
Remember that the location of your home and the land it’s on are the two most significant factors that will cause any future appreciation in value. When weighing what is important to you in a home, keep this in mind. You might want to opt for the smaller house in an area that will likely appreciate more rather than one with an ideal floor plan in a less than desirable area.
You May Qualify for Assistance With Your Down Payment
Let’s say you’ve looked over your finances, and you feel confident that you can handle a given monthly payment on a home you’re interested in. This is only half the battle. Especially in our current tight housing market, a seller or lender is going to expect you to have to come up with a down payment.
Don’t give up hope if you haven’t had the time to save up a down payment yet. There are home down payment assistance programs around the country, and Chester County, Montgomery County, Delaware County, and Philadelphia are no exceptions. For example, Bucks County has a First Time Homebuyers Assistance Program to help you with closing costs and your down payment. Our team at Inspection Professionals doesn’t want you to give up on the dream of homeownership because you haven’t had time to save up a down payment yet.
Don’t Skip the Home Inspection!
We’ve all had the experience of buyer’s remorse. That being said, a home is the worst possible thing you can have this experience with. In this market with such high demand, it can seem tempting to beat other would-be buyers by rushing in your offer to snap up what looks like a great deal before anyone else. Don’t forget, you’ll be sinking a lot of time and money into buying a home, so you can’t afford not to have it inspected. You should always have any offer on a home contingent on an inspection.
A home inspector will go over all the major structures and systems of the home you’re looking at buying. At Inspection Professionals, we can tell you that a thorough home inspection will include checking the basement, roof, plumbing, HVAC system, boiler, electrical system, and several other items. A competent home inspection will give you the peace of mind that you’ll be getting what you’re paying for instead of an endless series of headaches and repairs. This leads us to the next mistake homebuyers can make.
Make Sure to Pick a Good Inspection Company
Given the importance of a proper home inspection before purchase, you can see how critical it would be to hire a professional home inspector to handle it for you. At Inspection Professionals, we have conducted more than 10,000 inspections of homes throughout Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, Delaware Counties, and the City of Philadelphia. Collectively, our inspectors have over 30 years of experience in this field. Our inspectors are members of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). This means we have the training and certifications to inspect homes in Southeastern Pennsylvania properly.
After completing your inspection, we give you a detailed and concise report disclosing any issues with the home and indicating what will be required to rectify them. Buying a home is intimidating enough in today’s tight real estate market. Don’t compound the problem by not having a trusted, experienced home inspection company on your side to verify what you are truly buying. Please contact us if you plan to buy a home in Philadelphia or Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, or Montgomery County. We’ll set up your home inspection appointment at a date and time of your convenience.