Buying a home is a big undertaking and you may have many questions to ask before buying your first home. Every step of the buying process involves making big decisions and big changes. Before you go to every open house in the Amarillo area, you should consider what you need out of a home.
Asking yourself seven questions about buying your first home can save time and money in the long run. First, ask yourself if you qualify for a mortgage and how much money you have for a down payment. You should also consider where you want your first home to be located and what size home you can comfortably afford to buy. Do not forget to ask yourself about a budget for closing costs on your first home and a budget for upkeep and maintenance. Finally, consider what the real estate market is like for buying a home in your area.
Do you qualify for a mortgage for your first home?
Unless you have unlimited funds at your disposal, you are going to need a mortgage to buy your first home in Amarillo. To get decent interest rates, you will need decent credit. Before you begin looking at real estate, you should work with a mortgage broker to get pre-qualified. This process will tell you if you are in a position for a lender to give you a loan.
How much money do you have for a down payment on your first home?
When buying Amarillo real estate, you will need money available to make a down payment. A down payment is usually between 10% and 20% of purchase price, though some loans have required down payments as low as 3%. The more money you can put down, the lower your monthly payment is going to be. A higher down payment amount can also decrease the interest rate on your loan.
Where do you want your first home to be located?
Before buying your first home, you should ask yourself where you want to live. Amarillo offers just about any kind of lifestyle you are looking for. You might consider living in an urban loft close to downtown or in a townhouse closer to the edge of town. If you have kids in school, you should consider the school district in a given location. When looking at locations, you can also look for a place close to work to minimize commute time. A good real estate agent can help you narrow down the areas of Amarillo you should consider based upon your desires.
What size home can you comfortably afford to buy?
If you go through the mortgage pre-qualification process, you will get an idea of how much home a lender thinks you can afford. However, you don’t have to buy a property for the fully qualified amount. For example, you may be pre-qualified for a $200,000 mortgage at a 4.0% interest rate. The payment is $955 per month. Instead of getting a $200,000 home, you purchase one for $150,000 (also at 4.0%). The payment would be $716. That is a $229 difference, a significant amount for those who are buying their first home. You need to consider what you can comfortably afford as much as what you are qualified for.
What should you budget for closing costs on your first home?
Besides your down payment, there are going to be other costs that you need to cover as part of buying your first home in Amarillo. These are costs like origination fees, title fees, taxes, and homeowners’ insurance. Be sure to consider closing costs when budgeting for your first home.
How much will you need to budget for upkeep and maintenance on your first home?
Maintenance is something many first-time home buyers don’t consider. However, you should have money available to keep your new home in good repair. Your budget can include appliance replacement, roof repairs, insulation upgrades, and many other things. Older properties need more upkeep, so budget accordingly.
What is the real estate market like for buying a first home in your area?
Amarillo’s real estate market has remained solid for a few years now. However, some areas have been stronger than others. If you are interested in a particular neighborhood, it is best to speak with a knowledgeable real estate agent about the positives and negatives of certain areas.
Once you answer these questions openly and honestly, you will have a good idea of what your next steps are for buying your first home. If you need help finding a new home, call the Amarillo real estate specialists at Elite Real Estate Group at (806) 337-0883. You can also Contact Us by email with for more information or stop by our location at 3955 Soncy in Amarillo, Texas.