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

  • Helpful info thanks

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  • This is a great article. You covered all areas that need to be met when looking for a great home. You chose to take one and make it your own. I find that a great choice, and it allows you to personalize it.

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  • Great article. Thanks for the info.

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  • Hope everything works out for you! :)

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  • great article btw

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  • Helpful tips. Thanks.

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  • Thank you

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  • I am divorced and I found it extremely scary to purchase my first home as a single woman. This article would have given me a great insight 3 years ago.

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  • Helpful tips. Thanks.

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  • WELL WRITTEN AND THANKS FOR THE INFO…..

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  • I’m sure that you can save a lot of money doing the repair and/or remodeling projects yourself. It is great to have someone who is handy with a hammer in the family.

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  • not only great for the first time buyer but also for anyone who is thinking about purchasing a second home as well. thanks

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  • Such good information to know, thanks

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  • I wished I would of seen this before we had bought our home. Great tips.

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  • I would imagine one of the most important things when buying an older home is getting it inspected first….so many things can’t be just “seen” by the potential buyers

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  • It’s a monumental decision, isn’t it?!

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  • Thanks for such an informative post!

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  • helpful tips! thanks!

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  • We bought our home about 6 years ago, alot of your tips would have come in handy.Great Info!

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  • Thanks for the very informative post. I will keep this in mind whenever my finances allow for me to start looking into buying a home. Good luck with yours.

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  • It took us almost 2 years to close on our home it was a short sale but so worth it. it was everything we wanted so I say if you find your dream home do whatever you have to to get it because it is worth it

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  • Good on you and your husband for being able to do so much fixing up work on your own!

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  • Thanks for the great tips and advice seems like it can be very stressful or exciting thing to do but lets hope the house we do buy is the one we can and will fall in love with and stay a lifetime

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  • Thanks for all this helpful information . this is stuff i really needed to know because i hope in the next few years to try to buy a house and now i know :) Thanks so much for this post

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  • When buying a home I look for budget and location first and foremost.

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  • I spent about 2 hours today looking online at houses. What we can afford ends up being too much in the end because of the dayum property taxes. I don’t know how people find the money to buy a house. I’m getting discouraged and aggravated as well. I am a first time home looker (cannot call me a buyer just yet) and I refuse to fall into that first time buy the first thing you see syndrome that I have seen so many of my friends fall into. It so isn’t worth it. I’d rather see 100 houses then just pick one that seems to appear to look good only to have it be a piece of crapola. Yeah, I’m a bit cranky about it all today.

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  • My husband and I are thinking of buying a house in the next year or so. Very informative post!

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  • Thanks for the tips. We hope to buy our first home soon.

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  • Good advice. Hubby and I rent an apartment. Unfortunately we will never be able to realize the dream of home ownership (not unless we win the lotto). I admire those who can afford to buy a new home. I’m scared of things like taxes and insurance.

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  • Thanks for the great advice. Hoping to buy very soon :)

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  • Great information. I know knew nothing when we first bought our home. I had no idea what steps in took in getting a mortgage. But I learned fast that you have to educate yourself!

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  • Great blog that will benefit someone in the market to buy

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  • Have to educate yourself before purchasing a home. Thanks for putting this out there.

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  • I hope it works out for you.

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  • i hope you”ll find the right place and a right price good luck :)

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  • i love this thanks

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  • My sister in law does title insurance. She handles all the filing and paperwork on the house should we ever find one to purchase. Her fee is so much less than that of a lawyer. Something else one should look into.

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  • I enjoyed your opinons expressed here. I would like to add, We all know that the more that we can put down as a down payment the less our monthly payments will be. Too many people make that mistake and then once in the home they discover that they do not have enough funds to fix those little things that just happen to pop up that were not found in the house inspection, thus forcing them to take out a second mortgage, usually with a much higher interest rate and adding the two mortgages together their payment is double what they originally wanted. It is sad but it is a simple mistake that a majority of new buyers always make.

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    • It is sad, but we have to educate ourselves! Clearly we can’t rely on the banks to tell us!

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  • great site when your buying a home.

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  • Great resource for people starting to house hunt.

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  • Great information, especially for 1st time buyers.

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  • very well written. very helpful. good luck to you and the search.

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  • Deciding how much money to spend on a home is a major decision. You most certainly don’t want to stretch your budge too thin in order to enjoy your new home. Thanks for the review.

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  • I went through this when looking to purchase my first home. I had a lot of thinking to do before making such a big commentment finacially. Great review, tahnks.

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  • I loved your post thanks I wish you luck on finding that perfect place hang in there

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  • I’ve only lived in apartments and rented rooms. Haven’t has the money to purchase a home but these tips seem great to keep in the back of my mind when I do have the steady income to buy my first house.

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  • I have never bought a home and hope that you are able to find the right place for you and your family :))

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    • I sure hope you will find the home of your DREAM,be pation and it will happen.Thank you

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  • I can see this being a good idea for most people… we didn’t exactly go this route because we bought a house to fix up, and had the time and resources to do it ourselves while still living someplace else… We made sure we did enough that we could move in and at least have bathrooms etc…mortgage insurance def would have hurried it along!

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    • Lucky! We’ve lived IN our fixer uppers. Not always fun ;)

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  • Property taxes here are sooooo expensive, I agree! And unfortunately, so are the houses in CT! When we were looking we were going with an FHA loan, which prevented us from getting a real fixer-upper unless we wanted to go with a 203K, which let me tell you….not an easy process! We tried one in New London, the whole process was a mess! Everything took so long, and then the house didn’t appraise and the bank would not move on their price. After about 6 months that finally fell through. Foreclosures and short sales are so tempting, especially when housing prices are so high here. But in the end it was just too difficult to go that route. 2 more houses fell through before we found the perfect little starter house, that was not a short sale or forcelosure this time. I agree, location and price are the two most important things. FHA regulations on the condition of the houses are very strict, so that’s something we also had to keep in mind when house hunting. Who knew that a house would not be approved for a loan if it had peeling paint on the window-sills?! We also had a problem with a house someone else had remodeled..very very poorly. Good thing we had a good inspector, because nothing was done up to code, and some of the “improvements” were so short-cutted that they were downright dangerous.

    My how I ramble on. So many things to consider when buying a house! Very good information :)

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    • Are you still in New London area? And yes houses are super $$$ here in CT!

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      • We ended up in Groton, and I like it here more than I thought I would! Very central location, within 20 minutes of both of our jobs which is great.

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  • Buying a house is nerve racking. We went through all of this about 6yrs ago, and I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown. :)

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