No. 1 – Think about the costs of owning a home, not just buying it

When you are a renter, repairs and fixes are covered by your landlord. When you own a home, these costs become your financial burden. What else goes into owning a home? Could you afford to replace the hot water heater, an air conditioner? When thinking about a budget for your home, make sure you remember to add in these items as well:  utilities, property taxes, monthly maintenance costs, homeowner association fees, and more. And then there’s beautification projects like redecorating, new furniture, and paint.

No. 2 – Hire experienced professionals

This is really a no-brainer, but let’s discuss it anyway. You must hire an awesome, smart, reputable realtor to help you buy a house. Don’t go it alone on this one. If you are buying new, the realtor who works for the home builder is helpful, sure, but they do not work for you. Find a real estate agent. Period. And find the best mortgage broker – not banker – you can. Also, the best home inspector, to find all the issues now.

No. 3 – Think about what you can actually afford

Remember, the home-buying loan you are approved for when you get your mortgage may actually be more than you can afford. Think about a possible new upcoming expense like a new car, the home improvements we talked about, or a new baby. Hey, things happen. Be sure to leave a little wiggle room in your budget. This is why you need the best mortgage broker on your side, who can help you and talk about your future budget concerns.

No. 4 – Think about your daily life and look at the HOA

Just do it, ask for the HOA contract. You should be sure you can live with the restrictions. If you are a basketball fanatic and shoot hoops every day after work to relax, do you want to live in a home where you aren’t allowed to have a basketball hoop in the drive? Do you want to grow your own veggies but are not allowed to? These are things you need to consider. Yes, it is dry reading, but it needs to be done. As mentioned before, this is also a good time to find out about monthly HOA fees.

No. 5 – Think about the future you

Yes, you have to get approved for a loan today, and you may not be able to buy all the house you want for ten years in the future, however, let’s think about the near future. Will you be in this job long-term? Are you already thinking of adding three kids? Do you want to retire in two years and have an art studio? You can think about some of your goals – and yes, life will throw you curve balls – but you can have some input here. Sit down and talk out where you want to be in a few years. Maybe it is worth the stretch to get those two extra rooms? Just think about it.


When you are ready to start the process, as number two tells you, look for professionals. We are here to help you get all the questions answered. Think about it and give us a call today. We can help you sort through these great thinking points.

Tricia HoustonLending Maven Mortgage

Tricia Houston