Now is a great time to buy a home, say the financial gurus at the Wall Street Journal.
The Journal calls it a buyers market and offers these suggestions for first-timers getting their feet wet. While their advice is solid, it’s not revolutionary, but some potential customers might find it reassuring.
Remember this is a place to live not a stock market investment, they say. Lenders want buyers to spend no more than 28 percent of their gross monthly income on mortgage payments, real estate taxes, and home insurance. Buyers shouldn’t count on stretching further because lenders won’t approve their loans.
– Cash is king. Having enough money in the bank to pay closing costs that are typically an additional 2 percent to 3 percent of the price of the home is necessary.
– Location. Location, location. As any good real estate professional knows, homes in good school districts where the crime is low are much more likely to hold or increase their value.
– Compare. Besides just looking at the comps, buyers should examine what it would cost to rent a similar house in the same area and they might consider what it would cost to buy land and build a comparable home.
– Think long haul. It will probably take at least six or seven years of living in the house to be able to sell and come out ahead.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, Shelly Banjo