►Figure out your needs◄
Monthly cost of owning a home
Financing Your Purchase
The FHA Mortgage
The Conventional Mortgage
The Adjustable Rate Mortgage
Department Of Veterans Affairs Mortgage
Pre-Qualified vs Pre-Approval
Phase 2: Looking
Looking at homes
Types of homes
Single Family Homes
Types of sellers
Researching A Home's Public Information
These questions can all play a part in helping you select an area to live in.
If you plan on entertaining a lot, you may want a home with a larger gathering space, whether that be a family room or what. The kitchen may play a more important part as well, if you are preparing food. Having the kitchen open to the gathering space, or dining space is desirable as well, so that while you are preparing, you can still converse with the guests.
If you are planning on starting a family, consider enough bedrooms for future kids. When they are little, most kids will be in a crib, possibly in the master bedroom. As they get older, they will most likely want their own room. Also consider a play space that is away from the public space, like a lower level family room. This keeps the toys away from the public areas.
There are a number of differences in computing a monthly budget when shopping for a single family home versus an association maintained property (condo or townhouse). The differences are that association dues takes care of a number of different items. The main differences are listed in this table below.
|PITI (principal, interest, taxes, insurance)||PITI|
|Heating||(Heating - may be included in dues)|
|Water/Sewer||(Water/Sewer - usually included in dues)|
|Trash||(Trash - may be included in dues)|
|Cable||(Cable - may be included in dues)|
|Internet||(Internet - may be included in dues)|
|Yard Maintenance / Snow Removal||(Yard / Snow - usually included in dues)|
|Savings for Big Ticket Repairs (such as roof, deck, furnace)||(Savings for Big Ticket Repairs - included in dues)|
|Misc Repairs||Misc Repairs|
|(Insurance - usually included in PITI)||HO-6 Insurance (much lower cost, usually included in PITI)|
|(Taxes - usually included in PITI)||(Taxes - usually included in PITI)|
For instance, many times a condo complex will include the items listed as "may be included in association dues" while a townhouse may not include those items. Typical condo association dues are around $275-375 with some being higher. Typical townhouse association dues are $175-$275 with some being higher.