1. Check the selling prices of comparable homes in your area. American Realty of Venice can help you with this info.
2. See what you can afford. Use a mortgage calculator to see what your payment would be. To get a sense of the maximum you should spend.
3. Find out what your total monthly housing cost would be, including taxes and homeowners insurance. To get a feel for the maximum amount you should spend, including taxes and insurance. In some areas, what you'll pay for your taxes and insurance escrow can almost double your mortgage payment.
4. Find out how much you'll likely pay in closing costs. The upfront cost of settling on your home shouldn't be overlooked. Closing costs include origination fees charged by the lender, title and settlement fees, taxes and prepaid items such as homeowners insurance or homeowners association fees.
5. Look at your budget and determine how a house fits into it. Fannie Mae recommends that buyers spend no more than 28% of their income on housing costs. Go much past 30% and you risk becoming house poor.
6. Talk to an American Realty of Venice real-estate agent about the real-estate climate. Do they believe prices will continue falling or do they think your area has hit bottom or will rise soon?
7. Remember to look at the big picture. While buying a house is a great way to build wealth, maintaining your investment can be labor-intensive and expensive. When unexpected costs for new appliances, roof repairs and plumbing problems crop up, there's no landlord to turn to, and these costs can drain your bank account.
So consider American Realty of Venice whether you're ready for the expense and effort of homeownership before pulling the trigger.