Mortgage Advice

5 Questions To Ask Before Buying a House

June 12, 2015

Thinking about buying a house, but not sure if now is the right time to buy? Here are 5 questions to ask before buying a home.

How much house can I afford?

Before you start searching for homes, it’s important to consider the costs associated with homeownership. In doing so, you’ll have a better idea of the types of homes you can afford and how a monthly mortgage payment will fit into your current budget. Not only will you want to factor in the cost of your mortgage, you’ll also want to budget for the cost of maintenance, utilities, homeowners insurance and property taxes. 

It is imperative to choose a price point that is in your comfort zone. If you’re not sure how to figure out how much you can comfortably afford, work with a trusted lender who can help you determine a range that’s within your comfort zone. You can also use our Affordability Calculator to determine the amount you can afford from a lender’s point of view.

What am I looking for in a neighborhood?

Buying a home is a big decision. Not only do you want a mortgage payment you can live with, you want to find a community you feel comfortable living in. For that reason, it’s important to evaluate the various communities you’re looking to move to. Some things to consider include school district performance, crime rate, property taxes, commute time, etc.

How much do I need for a down payment?

While conventional wisdom says you should put 20% down, you don’t need a large down payment to buy a house. In fact, there are several low down payment mortgage programs that require little to no money down.

However, there are benefits to having a larger down payment—including a lower mortgage payment and a great rate! If you need help boosting your down payment fund, here are 15 ways you can start saving for a mortgage today. 

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) also offers grants and payment assistance programs that can be used by qualifying individuals to offset the upfront costs of buying a house. Learn more about the MI First Home grant that’s currently available for qualifying first-time homebuyers.

What are my long-term goals?

Before you buy a house, you’ll want to think long and hard about where you want to be five years down the road. Do you plan on making a major career move? Do you plan on starting a family? Will you have kids to put through college? All of these decisions will factor into what type of house you buy, where you will live and what kind of mortgage you’ll have.

Depending on what your goals are, your real estate agent and lender can counsel you on things to consider during your search for the perfect home and help you find a loan that fits within your financial plan.

What type of loan is right for me?

There is no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” loan. When it comes to choosing a loan, there’s more to it than deciding between fixed and adjustable-rate and FHA or conventional. There are many different types of mortgage loans, each with unique advantages. Everyone’s financial situation is different, and it’s in your best interest to work with a lender that can help you find the one that fits your financial needs.

Whether you plan on buying a house this summer, or a few years down the road, we hope you found this post valuable and encourage you to browse our blog for other helpful tips.

Have questions about getting started? Send us a message. We’d be happy to help you take the next step in your home buying journey.