One of the biggest decisions that you will probably ever make in your life is buying a home. Buying residential real estate is one of those decisions that you absolutely must take seriously. You can’t just wake up one day and decide to buy a home. If you want a good deal and you want to make sure that you can afford and keep your brand new home, you will want to take some time to prepare yourself and your finances before you ever even look at New Bedford real estate for sale.
Step One – Are You Financially Ready?
Determine whether or not you are ready to buy a home. Owning a home will cost you more each month than renting an apartment or a house. Utilities on a house are usually more expensive and you will be responsible to take care of all of the repairs yourself. There’s no landlord to call, no maintenance staff to contact and no landscaper to take care of the lawn.
Garbage costs, water costs, homeowners insurance costs, property taxes and other responsibilities as required by Massachusetts law must be considered. If you are not prepared to pay for all of these expenses, you could lose your new home. One way to assure success is to get yourself out of debt, put money into an emergency fund and save for a substantial down payment to keep your monthly mortgage costs down low.
Step Two – What About a Loan?
It can really pay off to start shopping for a loan ahead of time. Your Massachusetts realtor will appreciate it when you show up with a pre-approved loan in hand when you come to shop for a new home. Getting pre-approved can also help you to stay within your price range. Much like taking bids on projects or car repairs, you should shop at least three different institutions before settling on a loan in order to get the best rates and contact.
Look carefully at the different types of loans available and make sure that you get a fixed rate loan that you can afford. Avoid ARM or adjustable rate mortgage loans, as well as balloon loans and other financial gimmicks that could put you in a bad situation in the future. Once you get a loan, you can start looking at property for sale in New Bedford, MA and the surrounding area.
Step Three – How Much House Can You Afford?
Even if you get pre-approved for a loan to buy residential real estate, it doesn’t mean that you have to spend that much money on a home. Go over your financial statements and figure out how much house you can really afford without cutting yourself short each month in other areas. The standard rule of thumb is to keep your mortgage, insurance and property taxes within the range of 25-30 percent of your monthly income.
Another way to figure it is to look at a home that is not more than two-and-a-half times the cost of your annual salary. However you figure it all out, just make sure that your monthly payments aren’t going to be too much for you to handle. You don’t want to invest a lot of time and money in looking at and applying for residential real estate only to have it all taken away from you when you can’t make ends meet.
Step Four – Do You Have a Realtor?
The next step is to hire a professional Massachusetts realtor who has experience working with property for sale in New Bedford, MA and the surrounding area. Hiring a South Coast agent who specializes in residential real estate and knows the local area will help you get the type of home that you want at a price that you can afford.
Hire an agent with plenty of experience working with New Bedford real estate for sale. Once you speak with your agent about the type of home you want and the price that you can afford, they should provide you with several different options in the local area. Gardner Realty has been serving customers in Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island for over 35 years. When it comes to residential real estate in this part of the country, no one knows better what is for sale and available than our team of experienced agents.
Step Five – How Do I Make an Offer?
Your Massachusetts realtor will help you with the process of placing a bid on residential real estate. Once your offer is accepted, you will go into escrow. The escrow holder will take care of all of the necessary documents, information and money required to get to the point of closing on the property for sale in New Bedford, MA that you are interested in purchasing. Once everything is all completed you will need to go in and sign the closing papers. If you have any questions during any part of this process, you can speak with your real estate agent.
After everything is taken care of, all the papers are signed, the money is deposited and the home is closed, it’s time to move in to your new home. When you work with a professional Massachusetts realtor, everything will run a lot more smoothly. Contact an agency you can count on, like Gardner Realty. With over 35 years of serving clients in the Southeastern Massachusetts area, Gardner can help you find the house of your dreams and help you take care of everything necessary to make it your own. Call Gardner Realty today at 508-994-9029 to learn more about our residential real estate services or to check our listings of New Bedford real estate for sale.