How to buy a home you love and can actually afford

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Buying a home for the first time can seem out of reach and unachievable. The stress and responsibility of owning a home can be really discouraging and seem not worth all the troubles that you have to go through just to have a place to live. What good is a home if you can’t enjoy it and if you don’t have the budget to make memories? Think about it. You may have heard that you need to put a 20% down payment, spend thousands in closing fees, and other related expenses. Sounds a little overwhelming right? The following are some useful tips to consider.

Find The Right Real Estate Agent

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We all know there are tons of great real estate agents out there, agents that are very experienced and that can get you situated in a home fast. But are they the right fit for your home finding needs? You need a real estate agent that understands your needs and pain points and that provides the right houses to fit your budget and lifestyle demands. Be up front with the agents you meet and let them know your budget, and make it understood that you’re firm on what you can afford. Failing to do this may leave you vulnerable when you fall in love with a house that is outside your budget. The last thing that you need is a dream house becoming a nightmare with a monthly mortgage payment that is choking your budget and creating financial stress. When you’re up-front and communicate your strict budget range, you will set the standard and help your real estate agent consider the right houses to comfortably fit your budget range and lifestyle. Remember, your agent may be very helpful when you buy the house, but your agent won’t be there each month when it comes to paying your mortgage, so make sure that you establish your budget, rather than having your agent establish a budget for you.

Choose the Right Mortgage Company

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Choosing the right mortgage company can leave a lasting impact on the length of your mortgage payment terms. Make sure that you don’t choose just any mortgage company. You need to do your homework to research and compare your home loan options. Comparing interest rates and terms offered by different mortgage companies will allow you to make an educated choice and potentially save you money over the course of your mortgage and help make your monthly payments more affordable each month.

Expect the Unexpected When Being A First Time Homeowner

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For most homebuyers, you’re going to be exhausting a lot of your savings for the down payment, which means that your safety net will not be as reliable as it was before you became a homeowner. This means that the rest of your savings should be set aside as an emergency fund. Think of the worst-case scenario that you would need an emergency fund for, like losing your job, the water heater breaking, needing a new roof, or needing electric and plumbing repair—the types of surprises that may arise and take a huge chunk of money to resolve. You want about a 6-month salary cushion in your emergency fund. This will allow you to avoid living paycheck to paycheck, which has the added benefit of making owning a home way more enjoyable.

Prepare for Future Changes and Challenges Ahead

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When buying a home, the first year as a family might seem simple to plan for, but don’t forget five years down the road, where you may have a variety of other changes to your budget and lifestyle. Always think ahead and plan for your future; think of your home as a long-term investment that you can scale with you as your family grows. Consider that you may need to take on additional expenses such as childcare, clothes, food, and other costs that will challenge your budget. By factoring in future expenses now, you will set yourself up and be ready to add on additional costs without creating a shock to your budget.

What They Don’t Tell You

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When you buy a house, your biggest challenges usually come within the first 5 years. That’s when you’ll find things that need to get replaced or fixed most often. To prepare for this, try to familiarize yourself with the roof, plumbing, electric, ventilation, and appliances of your home. When you have someone look into these before you buy a home, make sure they go over everything with you and give you an estimate on how long certain features about the house will last and if you should consider negotiating that certain things be fixed before closing is set. This prepares you to avoid any possible disasters or fixer-upper surprises after you purchase the house.

Wow, that sure was a lot to prepare for, but it’s worth it in the long run. Buying a house is all about establishing your roots and creating a place where you can make memories that are passed down for generations. The key is to make your house a blessing and not a curse. Make sure to find a house that is within your family’s means, and make sure that you can enjoy life with financial balance so that you can enjoy your home now and not just once it’s paid off. This is why CBC Mortgage Agency may be able to help give youaccess to the Chenoa Fund, a down payment assistance program. Our goal is to increase nationwide affordable and sustainable homeownership, with a focus on creditworthy, low- and moderate-income individuals that are looking to become homeowners. All of the programs offer at least 3.5% down payment assistance. Programs like ourDPA Edge: Soft Second Productoffer the ability to provide 5% down payment assistance or the option to only use 3.5% down and flex the other 1.5% towards closing costs. Discover CBC Mortgage Agency’s Chenoa Fund and see if you can get the down payment assistance you need with the right loan.Visit our website and learn more.

CBC Mortgage Agency – NMLS 1186381

For licensing information go to: www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org.

Illinois Residential Mortgage License #MB.6761292.Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Banking, 100 West Randolph, 9th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601 – 1-888-473-4858

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