Things To Consider Before Buying A House

Buying a home is an enormous investment, one that could end up being the largest in the lifetime of everyman. For some people, it gives them a sense of pride and freedom that cannot be compared to the one obtained when living in a rented property. There are numerous advantages to be gotten when you own your home such as not being bound by landlord’s rules or building equity with monthly bills or even the additional tax benefits. Although buying a home may be one of the first steps to take toward building long term home, it is imperative to put some things in consideration before venturing into this ordeal. Here are some points to consider before buying a house;

•THE PRICE OF THE HOUSE: This is a major factor that must be considered when you are buying a house. The price of the house refers to how much it will cost you or how much you will pay the seller for the ownership of the house. This is to ascertain if you can truly afford the house or get a loan. One of the guidelines to follow is the debt-to-income ratio which should not be greater than 36%. Also your mortgage debt alone should not exceed 20% of your monthly income. It is essential to remember that your personal situation will ultimately determine what you can truly afford.

•PROCESSING FEE: The processing fee refers to the cost of doing cost for doing business which are but not limited mortgage application fee, home inspection and closing costs. The mortgage application fee is the fee to be paid to the lenders for application which usually varies and ranges between hundreds of dollars. The closing costs refers to the cost incurred when processing the deeds/ titles/land transfer/ legal fees. It is advisable to consult an expert realtor to have an idea of how much this will cost.

•MEMBERSHIPS AND UTILITY BILLS: when shopping for a house, the monthly utilities should be part of the basis of your decision. Knowing the average utility bills per month of the previous owner of the house or neighbors with similar buildings will be helpful. In addition to the utility bills, the homeowners association due for administration and other upkeep should also be considered. You should be aware of how much this will cost you annually, how often this bills and dues increase and what other charges are to be expected to be incurred as this will be helpful in budgeting.

•INSURANCE AND TAXES: It is important you insure your house against disaster and major damage. The cost of purchasing home insurance can also increase the amount you will be spending. You can add your homeowners insurance to an existing plan like an auto or life insurance. On the other hand, property taxes have to be well calculated and paid in full to the proper agencies to avoid owing a lump payment after the property taxes are assessed each year. You should also make it a point of duty to know if the previous owners have settled all their tax defaults.

Although there is an endless list of points to consider before buying a house, the ones listed above are basic and general. Other points are the present housing market, interest rates, timing and your future plans as well as flexibility and mobility of your career or family, Having considered those factors, you should also remember that there is no rule that mandates you to buy a house at a particular age. When you are sure of a neighborhood, it is advisable to consult a realtor or renting as test-drive.

Condo Vs Apartment: Is Owning Better?

A lifelong goal many people strive to achieve is owning a property. In time past, people had to rent property due to the stress associated with owning one but these days, most people own their properties. While both renting and buying have their own sets of financial benefits, renting appears to have an upper hand when the economy is poor. There are different factors to be considered when searching for a home one of which is the type of property and this brings us to condominiums and apartment. Most people get stuck at the point of deciding to either own a condo or an apartment and some don’t even know the difference. Here are some points to guide your decision

Ownership: Although both definitions look similar in the context, a condo is an abbreviation for condominium which is a building in which each unit is owned by an individual but the grounds, structure and facility is jointly owned while an apartment is a suite of rooms within a domicile designated for a specific person or persons including a bedroom and it is usually rented. The most notable difference between condo and apartment living is ownership. Property investment is one of the guiding factors for people who choose condominium because they are one of the best options for building equity in cities. Another factor is that buying or paying off a condo is a form of self investment which is contrary to apartments where your rent goes to your landlord. There are also benefits associated with owning a condo such as customizing or altering certain features to suit you and this you do not get with apartments.

Management: Condos are usually managed by association boards and committee that are made up of residents of the community. Condo owners have a much stronger voice within their community and how regulations and bylaws govern the community while apartment renters are subject to theirs landlord’s decisions. For condo owners, homeowners association fees are paid on monthly basis for the maintenance of infrastructure like swimming pool and fitness centre. Although, the HOA fees may be subject to increase and decrease at the detriment of the owner. In contrast, management of apartment is usually the sole decision of the landlord and the occupants are at the mercy of the landlord.

Maintenance: As earlier discussed, maintenance of external feature is carried out jointly for condo owners but for apartment’s owner, it is the responsibility of the landlord. The responsibility of maintaining the internal features or rectifying faults is solely that of the condo owner. In contrast, apartment owner enjoy the privilege of transferring such responsibility to the landlord.

Flexibility: Getting an apartment is a great way to stay flexible because most leases last for a year. An apartment is also suitable when you plan on staying in an area temporarily or only interested in getting a feel for an area before buying or are not financially set up to purchase. You can also get well furnished apartment that offers month to month leases. All this benefits cannot be gotten when you opt for a condo which is usually more rigid. Although, some condos can be rented out and other cannot due to regulations governing the condo association.

Payment: Monthly payment which is dependent on down payment, interest rate and loan programs stays fixed for condo as you pay it off. Owning a condo gives you a predictable amount that will be paid every month. In contrast, you may encounter rises in rent paid for your apartment every period your lease ends and there is a little bit of unpredictability to your expenses.
The bottom line is that both the condo and the apartment have their pros and cons,ownership boils down to your choice, decision and financial strength.