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The StarHarborRealty.com Indianapolis Real Estate Blog

Preparing For New Home Ownership

Preparing for home ownership

If you are a first time buyer and expect to purchase a home, take heed of some good advice from experienced real estate professionals.  The real estate market has changed dramatically since the great recession of 2008.  Mortgage defaults, high unemployment, secondary market instability, are just a few of the factors that have changed the landscap for those who yearn for their piece of the American dream.

Consider this advise.  First and foremost, hire a real estate professional.  There is no guarantee that the home you buy today will be worth more tomorrow.  While that may have been the case in the past, home buyers today need to be careful as they attempt to make what will likely be the biggest investment of their life.  Therefore, now more than ever, they should rely on the expertise of a real estate professional.  Real estate professionals are in the best position to advise home buyers about those things that are most likely to affect real estate values now and in the future.

Safe-guard your credit.  Credit reporting bureaus gather information about you every day.  Your ability to secure mortgage financing is dependent upon your credit.  Unfortunately, much of the information that may be reported to the credit reporting agencies could be false or inaccurate.  Knowing your credit history and monitoring it periodically will help insure your credit score is accurate and healthy.  Know what impacts your credit and take steps to protect it.

Save lots of cash.  Although there are a few federal housing programs that offer no down payment financing for certain VA and FHA foreclosed properties, the vast majority of homes on the market today will require conventional financing, and that will necesitate a substantial down payment.  Many point to the decade leading up to the mortgage crash of 2007 and the liberal qualifications for mortgage financing as the root cause of so many mortgage failures.  Buyers with no money down had no skin in the game and therefore strategic default presented no serious concerns for those who found themselves underwater.  These days, down payments are a necessity, so plan to store up at least twenty percent of the purchase price, if you expect to buy.

Know your community.  While it may make sense to buy a house because it is priced so low, that bargain price may be an indicator of a more pervasive problem.  Because the market value of one property is affected by neighboring properties, neighborhoods with high concentrations of foreclosures may struggle to rebound for many years.  Homes in more economically stable neighborhoods will cost you more, but are more likely to keep pace with the market as the market rebounds from five years of recession.  Other factors such as school performance, crime, and taxes will also impact your investment.

This is a great time to buy a home, if you can afford it and you know what to look for.  Gahter your resources and buy into the American dream.  This is a buyer's market.  The opportunities that exist today may not exist tomorrow.