Decisions to make when purchasing a home.

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After the decision to search for homes that needed work, we had to go ahead and decide how much money we were willing to spend for a mortgage payment each month.  This is something that’s very personal- and I would not ever tell you what to do, but I will say to look very carefully at your financial situation when you are given that amount of house you can “afford.”  For us, we were told that we could afford a house more than triple what we felt we could afford- and that was with both of us working full time….and no children.  We sat down and factored in what our utilities might be on a house that size, and also what the property taxes would be (in Connecticut, they are high!) Once we knew what we could afford, we started looking around in our target areas- and quickly realized that to be able to afford the home and be able to have the cash to fix things, we were going to have to rethink how much we’d be placing as a down payment.  For us, what the bank said we could afford and what the reality of our budget was were very, very far apart.  Sure, we could have afforded that number the bank gave us- but we’d not have any money to pay for food, nor utilities, nor gas for our vehicles, let alone property taxes.  We opted to go with a number that WE felt we could live within based on what our budget and expenses were each month.


When you buy your first home, regardless of size, location, or price, many people decide or have to purchase mortgage insurance.  There are reasons for purchasing this insurance, and it is meant to offer a financial guarantee the lender should the buyer default on the loan- it will help to decrease or eliminate the loss for the lender altogether. It kind of makes things more “even” on the risk scale for the borrower and the lender. For many first time home buyers, private mortgage insurance is almost always required if you are putting down less than 20% of the mortgage.  For us, mortgage insurance was a way to ensure that we COULD get into our first home, and also have the funds available to do necessary renovations- we were buying a fixer-upper that ultimately we had to “gut” and had we put that entire 20% or more down and not done the mortgage insurance, we’d have had to end up taking out a second mortgage or a homeowner’s loan, neither of which we wanted to do. There are many resources available to help you find out about mortgage insurance options- Genworth financial has a very comprehensive section about purchasing mortgage insurance. This article about planning your first move may be helpful to you as you start this journey.

What are some of the things that you look for when purchasing a home?  Be sure to also read the post about what made us decide to purchase life insurance policies

 

 

This is a supported post with information provided by Genworth Financial. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

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About the author: I’m a 30-something mom to three, brand ambassador. content creator, social media maven, blogger extraordinaire, earth lover, butcher, baker, candlestick maker (or something along those lines) – love word games, crafting, cake decorating or shooting pictures.

442 comments… add one

  • We just sold our home and purchased a new one this past Sept. I wish I’d had the info. provided by you just a little sooner.

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  • Thanks for the great tips and congrats on your new home.

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  • Thanks for the great tips. Congrats on your new home!!

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  • We currently rent a home but we want to be able to buy a home very soon.

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  • I rent but hope to own so this is very helpful. Id love to have a home that is very energy efficient, maybe solar

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  • Very helpful advise you’ve given on this subject. Many people may not take all these factors into consideration. I am fortunate to have a hubby who is awesome with woodworking and all kinds of remodeling, so should we ever decide to relocate, we could purchase a fixer upper and do it ourselves!

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  • Getting a handyman special is a wonderful idea especially if your husband, you or a family member friend is handy. Unfortunately my dear departed husband was not so we had to spend a little bit more money in order to find a house that was move in ready. Congratulations on the new home, I hope you have many years of happiness there.

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  • My mom loves good info and me to.

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  • Congrats on your new home!

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  • We’ve owned our home now for 23 years. We were lucky that my husband was able to do most of the work.

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  • Nice article great tips.

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  • I love your blog!

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  • This is a great post! I’m hoping to buy a home of my own down the road.

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  • Congrats 1st off. Very interesting reading i hope to try and start over again as i lost my 1st home after getting divorced and losing a job.

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  • congratulations!!

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  • Congrats on your new home!!!

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  • Congrats on your new home! I hope to buy a home in a year or so.

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  • i just rent and i want to buy sooon

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  • The reason so many people are losing their houses today is because the banks encouraged and gave mortgages that people could not afford. We had one house while in the military . We bought when the market and interest rates were high. By the time we had to move, houses were selling well and for a nice profit. The market bottomed out in the three weeks between getting orders to move and putting the house on the market. We were lucky to sell it, but we didn’t make a penny. When we retired, I ignored what the bank said they would loan us. My husband had just had cancer surgery and the prognosis was iffy. I looked at his retirement pay and figured what I was comfortable spending. It was much less than the bank and the real estate agent were pushing. We did get a house that needed work, but that turned out to be enjoyable even if expensive.
    You were wise to consider all the factors and not make yourself house poor.What good is a house if all you have to do is worry about how you are going to pay for it.

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  • Budget and location are my top concerns.

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  • A real good article with good advice

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  • Great article on purchasing a home. Home insurance is very important you never know what will happen. Any little thing could happen and you have to be prepared.

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  • Very good information. Like you, my husband and I did not opt to use the entire amount that we qualified for to purchase our home. There are always miscellaneous expenses when you first move into a home, despite any renovations that you might want to do. It is best to plan for these unexpected expenses as you did.

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  • lessons to be learned by anyone thinking about buying a home…great article

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  • When we bought our house, our first concerns were would it fit our budget. That’s including any repairs or upgrades we may have wanted.

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  • It really is important to look at location when purchasing a home, not only in terms of short term plans like kids in school but also for possible resale at some point. Thanks for the interesting post!

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  • My advice is to be absolutely certain that you want to stay in that location for a long time before purchasing a home.

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  • Congratulations on your home. This is a good list of tips when buying a house. There are so much to look at when buying a house. So much to check and so many decision too.

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  • We own our own home and any work that gets done is from my husband and I. This spring we will be remodeling our kitchen.

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  • I would definitely take a house inspector with me to check the foundation and such. I think location is very important so drive by the area not only during the day but also at night….you may find more than you are bargaining for.

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  • Thank you for sharing. Will be purchasing our first home next year. Wish us luck!

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  • Great tips, thanks!

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  • Great post. I am hoping to purchase my own home in 3 years..great tips

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  • What great tips! I think we’ll be stuck in our house for awhile though!

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  • I will remember this when I start looking for my home.

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    • Thank you for the info I will pass it on to my daughter

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  • Thank you so much for all of the tips! I wish that I was in a position to buy a home because when you rent like I am, you are paying for you landlord’s mortgage payment plus!!

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  • I. Will. Be. Sharing information. Thank you

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  • it is a big decision to buy a home but it is a great feeling when you do and in my house i do all the handy man work

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  • Great tips, although i probably dont see a home purchase for me. but if i did location is key!

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  • I would look for location I like the schools my kids go to ,and I need a good size yard

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  • Location is number one in my book.

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  • We now own our own home. My husband likes to do everything on his own, mainly because of the cost. But he does it

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  • I have never owned my own home and probably never will. My husband and I are both disabled and we don’t make enough to afford a home. Great tips though and Congrats on your new home! :)

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  • nice article, great tips. thank you so much

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  • Great tips. I don’t think many people factor in private mortgage insurance. I think it’s a good reminder that this will be an extra cost for many buyers.

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  • We purchased a mobile home as our “starter home” although it fit our needs and budget at the time we have really outgrown it and been here longer than anticipated. Unfortuantly moving is not an option currently. I think the most important thing is to be realistic when purchasing a home and think of how long you really may be in the home and ensure that it will meet all your current and future needs.

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  • We bought a new home but there are so many beautiful homes that have had an owner before. Handy man is great for people that have money to fix it, are very handy or even have a group of friends who are handy and help each other when it’s their turn for them to have something done. These are great tips for first time buyers and welcome to the homeowner world

    sibabe64 at ptd dot net

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  • I’d like to be able to call a handyman, but my husband likes to do all the work around the house…but he is just so busy with other stuff that the handyman type work never gets done.

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    • Jill, I find when my husband is slow to start, if I start it myself, it gets him moving. I’m kind of a disaster waiting to happen when I’m doing things solo! LOL

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  • If I were in the market for a new home, these are great tips! I would hope to get a home that is “green” as possible
    Thanks again

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  • Mine must have a HUGE kitchen as I LOVE cooking!

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    • Great tips I will use some.Thank you

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