If you are currently searching for a house for sale in Buffalo, NY and the surrounding area, you may be happy to see how many choices you have. However, before you start jotting down listing numbers and viewing open houses, there are a few things to keep in mind. Being fully prepared in advance can help make your search faster, easier, and a lot more successful. Here are a few tips first-time homebuyers should know.
Avoid Becoming “House Poor”
“House poor” is the feeling many first-time homeowners get when they have purchased a home that is slightly beyond their means. This typically happens when you spend more than 40 percent of your gross income on your home. While you can still qualify for a mortgage at that debt-to-income ratio, you may not have a lot of money left over after paying for other necessities like bills, taxes, and food. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that your total housing costs, including insurance and utilities, should be 30 percent of your gross income or less.
Think About the Future
While you are in the process of saving for your down payment, spend some time thinking about the future. Ask yourself where you want to be in five years and try to find a home that can grow with you. For example, if you and your partner are thinking about having children, you may want a house with an extra few rooms. On the other hand, if your goal is to start a photography business from your home, you may want a house with space suitable for a studio. You may have to save a bit more now but planning ahead does save you money in the future.
Check Your Credit Score
You do not want to go through the trouble of finding a lender and filling out a loan application only to get denied. Your credit score is one of the key factors lenders used to determine if they should loan you money, how much, and on what terms. Checking your score in advance gives you a chance to make any necessary changes or corrections to your information that may have otherwise precluded you from getting a loan at all. It can take months to dispute any fraudulent transactions, so it is a good idea to check your report often.
Once the report is correct, avoid any unanticipated dips in your score by refraining from applying for any new credit accounts, loans, or lines of credit until after the purchase has closed.
A Property Management Company Can Help
Instead of fruitlessly searching for “houses for sale near me,” consider visiting a property management company like Buffalo Niagara Realty Group. BNRG, in particular, prides itself on how hard associates work to prioritize selling homes to first-time buyers and other responsible investors.
People looking for houses for sale in Niagara Falls and other surrounding areas can get in touch with BNRG to learn more about the services offers. You can find the company online, or you can give one of their friendly administrative professionals a call to find out how BNRG staff can help you find your very first home.