a House or a Home?
A house is just that, a house, until someone lives in it. That's when it becomes
a Home. There's a big difference. At our house, we always say our home is "well
lived in." And, with a family of six, four of them being between the ages
of 9 and 15, this house has no choice! Our house, being in the family for over
65 years, is a well seasoned "home."
Who wouldn't love to live in a luxurious home with all the newest gadgets and
high tech inventions? Well, I would venture to guess that most of us have thought
of it. But, what's really important when you consider buying a home?
If you're a seasoned home shopper you may already have learned from experience
what type, location, and price of home is good for your family. Setting some
guidelines and priorities is a good way to start the hunt. First, make a wish
list. This is a great starting point for anyone and will help get your priorities
in order! Knowing what you want or need is half the battle.
This will include some essential questions you need to ask yourself also like,
what you can afford?, are you willing to do renovations and how much?, and lists
specific needs for your family.
Location, Location, Location...
Location can be flexible for some families, but must be specific for other
families. Work, disabilities, and children are just a few factors that can influence
location necessities or desires. For instance, if you don't want to commute
long distance to work you will need to consider travel time to work. If you
or a family member have disabilities that require special treatments or services,
you will need to consider travel time to current providers, or consider availability
of services in the new location. Local schools, and their reputations, will
play an important role in location for those families with children, as well
as neighborhood safety.
There's no satisfaction in qualifying for a loan that you can't afford! Consider
your other obligations and how the new payment will affect your budget. Sometimes,
scrupulous mortgage brokers and lenders don't really consider if you can actually
"afford" the loan for your home. They boast that they can get "anybody"
a loan. That's easy when you don't really care about the final results. Besides,
it's a secured loan, which means, your commitment is secured by your property.
They'll simply take your home if you don't meet your commitment.
so, be careful. Always use a reputable company for your mortgage needs. They
may not tell you what you want to hear, but they'll look out for your best interests.
GinnieMae.gov at http://www.GinnieMae.gov has a calculator to help give you
some idea how much you can afford. Always live within your means to prevent
self-created financial disasters.
When you know what you can afford, shop and compare. Hud offers a great home
buying booklet at http://www.hud.gov/buying/booklet.pdf, Looking for the Best
Mortgage, that answers questions and prepares homeowners for the mortgage shopping
experience. There is even a form for you to keep track of home loan comparisons.
Don't be a Victim of Loan Fraud
The Federal Citizen Information Center warns consumers to protect themselves
from predatory lenders! Before you make a final decision, take the time to review
the 11 Tips on Being a Smart Consumer.
When looking for a mortgage, don't forget to ask about specialty loans. You
may qualify for specialty loans if:
• You're a Teacher
• You are purchasing a home that needs remodeling.
• You are a first time buyer
HUD answers 'Common Questions from First Time Home Buyers" at http://www.hud.gov/buying/index.cfm
Whether you're buying your first home or growing into a new home, you'll be
successful if you take your time, know your priorities, and research all your
Happy Hunting. May the "House" you choose become a happy "Home!"