5 Steps for Home Buying & Mortgage Management

5 Steps for Home Buying & Mortgage Management

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If you ask most people what their ultimate goal is, it's to own a home. But most people don't have the money to go out and buy a home with cash. We'll take a look at the steps that you can take for achieving your homeownership goal.

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  1. Use An App to Create a Budget
  2. Decide How High a Mortgage You Can Afford
  3. Find Your Perfect Home
  4. Check Out the Neighborhood
  5. Contact Banks to Get a Loan

Before you can buy a house, the first thing you have to do is to get your money under control with money management. A good way to do this is through a budget app. You can't go forward with a big purchase like a house until you know how much you have coming into your household. 

So, you will want to sit down and figure out your monthly expenses. This includes your credit card bills, your car payments, and overall living expenses. Even if you are paying for electricity at your apartment, keep in mind that your electric bill is going to be higher in a house since it has more space. Many apartment complexes don't charge for water, so you will also have to figure it into your budget too when you buy a house. Unless you buy a house with a well.

Do you want to find the right budgeting app? Here is a list of the Best 10 Apps for Budgeting to help you narrow down your search.

After you have created a budget, it's time to figure out the mortgage amount that you can afford. The easiest way to do this is through an app that calculates your mortgage. Keep in mind that your interest rate is going to depend on the current rate as well as your credit rating. But a mortgage calculator app is going to help you get a good idea of what you can expect to pay and what you'll be able to afford.

Since we know there are a lot of apps that you can use for calculating your mortgage, here is a list of the best 10 that you can choose from. That will help you with narrowing down your search and choosing the app that will help you the most.

Now you are ready for the fun part of a mortgage - finding the right house. One thing you'll discover is just how many types of houses there are in the world. Since you already know how much of a mortgage you can afford, you want to think about the types of amenities you want to have. Do you want a big backyard? Do you want more than one bathroom? Do you want it all to be on one level or would you like a split level?

If you're looking for one level, a rancher, mobile home or a manufactured home might be a good idea. These homes also tend to be less expensive.  If you're not concerned about it being one level, a Cape Cod or a split level home is a consideration.

Do you prefer having a backyard rather than being really close to your neighbors? If so, chances are that you wouldn't be happy in a condo or a townhome where you have close proximity to your neighbors.

Once you have figured out what type of house you want, you can go to the Zillow app or you can contact a real estate agent.  They will help you find the right house whether it's a single-family home or a mansion.

After you put a few homes on your shortlist after searching on Zillow, or your realtor has shown you some houses in your price range, you want to get a feel for the neighborhood. Yes, your realtor probably praised it up and down. But you want to do your own research. Find out about the school district, locate the grocery stores and, most importantly, find out what the crime rate is in the area.

It's also good to get an idea of what the community is like. If you go to church or practice another religion, where are the places of worship? If you have young children, you will probably want to see where the parks and playgrounds are. And the employment opportunities and types of jobs are also important.

Furthermore, another consideration is whether the house is in an HOA or a homeowners association. Some people prefer the HOA community and others stay as far away from them as possible. If the house is in an HOA, you also want to see what their rules are because some of them can be pretty strict. It's better to know before you buy a house than to find out after.

You finally have found a house that you love and now is the scary part - contacting a bank or credit union to get a loan. This can be especially scary if you have bad credit or if you're a first-time buyer. But these things don't mean that you won't ever be a homeowner or be able to get a mortgage.

When you sit down with a bank or credit union, you will learn terms such as fixed-rate mortgage and closing costs. If you have any questions, don't be shy - tell them and ask them to explain things that you don't understand. It's better to ask questions beforehand and be clear on what they mean than to have a nasty surprise at the end. They are there to answer your questions and guide you.

There is nothing like having a home of your own. When you take these steps, you will find the home that is right for you. It will be one that you can afford and that you and your family can live.