Buying a home is a major decision. The stakes are high both financially and emotionally, but the rewards of homeownership can pay off for a lifetime. Owning your own home provides much more stability than renting and can greatly improve your quality of life. In addition, you simply cannot experience the same sense of control when renting as you can when you own your own home. Renting gives you a place to live, but owning makes a house your home. Buying a home in the Boulder area is a big step, and it’s one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Though the process does not need to be stressful or scary, you do need to take you time and do some research to take control of the home-buying process and ensure that you are making a wise financial investment.
How Much House Can You Afford?
Before you even begin looking at houses, you need to determine what you can truly afford. Generally speaking, the total price of the home you ultimately purchase should not be more than two to three times your annual income. Of course, other factors need to be taken into consideration to ensure that your mortgage payment will fit in your budget, but this is a good general starting point. The average person should strive to not take on mortgage payments that exceed 28% of their monthly gross income. Again, though, this percentage may vary, especially if you have other large monthly expenses, such as private school.
Get Pre-Approved For a Home
Once you have an idea of how much you can comfortably afford, you need to get pre-approved. Look for a lender that has a good reputation for timely closings and excellent customer service. There are several options for mortgages, and it is important to choose the one that is right for you. When shopping in highly competitive markets, like Boulder, being pre-approved for a loan is often the difference between getting the home of your dreams and having it slip through your fingers. Being pre-approved proves to sellers that you are a qualified buyer. It also speeds up the process once you make an offer on a home because the bank will not need to determine your creditworthiness.
Start Your Home Search
With a realistic budget in mind and a pre-approval in hand, it’s time to start searching for your home. Consider what features are must-haves and what ones you would like to have but aren’t necessary. When beginning your home search, it is advisable to work with a qualified Boulder real estate agent who is extremely familiar with the area that you are interested in.
Buying a home on your own can be extremely difficult. Having a qualified realtor on your side makes it a lot easier to find homes that match your budget and your criteria. A real estate agent may even be able to show you homes that you wouldn’t have considered on your own that you may end up falling in love with.
In addition to helping you find the right home, your real estate agent will also help you assess whether the asking price is fair for the home and the area, and she will help you with putting in an offer. Real estate agents are familiar with market trends, and they know what similar homes are selling for in the area. With this information in mind, your real estate agent will be able to help you put in a competitive offer that the seller is likely to accept while ensuring that you are making a sound financial investment. In many instances, buying a home is an emotional process for everyone involved. Another benefit to working with a real estate agent is having someone who will act as a mediator between you and the seller.
Buying a home in Boulder is an exciting and life-changing experience. Doing it on your own can be extremely overwhelming, and mistakes can be easily made when trying to complete home buying paperwork without the help of an experienced professional on your side. Your real estate agent will be committed to helping you get the best deal on a home that you and your family will be happy in for years to come.
If you are considering buying downtown Boulder real estate or the surrounding areas, please do not hesitate to give me a call. You can reach me by calling 720-323-8460. I look forward to help you find your dream home!