Step 1 - Is Homeownership Right for You?
Buying a home is one of the biggest emotional and financial decisions you'll ever make. Prepare by learning about the process of homebuying and the responsibilities of homeownership. The differences between renting and buying a home are vast, and there's a long list of pros and cons for both options. And, remember — there is no one best decision for everyone. Before moving forward, though, here are some questions to consider.
Do you have the necessary financial management skills?
How financially stable are you?
Are you ready to take on the responsibility of all the costs involved in homeownership, including mortgage payments, repairs, and maintenance?
Are you able to devote the time required for home maintenance?
There are pros and cons for both renting and buying. Everyone must make his or her own best decision. Buying a home is not for everyone. Take a moment to think through the advantages and disadvantages of both owning and renting.
Are the advantages of owning your home really bigger than the advantages of renting? Are the disadvantages of owning your own home really smaller than the disadvantages of renting?
Step 2 - Are You Financially Ready
There are many questions and things to consider when it comes to evaluating whether or not you can afford to buy. Some of them include:
How much are your household expenses (rent, electricity, heating costs, water, maintenance, cable, telephone etc.)
How much are you other expenses (phone bill, gas, car payments, insurance, entertainment, groceries, childcare etc.)
How much are your debt payments
How Much Can You Afford?
Before you begin shopping for a home, it’s important to know how much you can afford to spend on homeownership. You will want to plan ahead for the various expenses related to homeownership. In addition to purchasing the home, other significant expenses will include heating, property taxes, home maintenance and renovation as required. Two simple rules can help you figure out how much you can realistically pay for a home. You must understand these rules to understand if you will be able to get a mortgage.
Affordability Rule 1
The first rule is that your monthly housing costs shouldn't be more than 32% of your gross monthly income. Housing costs include your monthly mortgage payments (principal and interest), property taxes and heating expenses. This is known as PITH for short — Principal, Interest, Taxes and Heating.
Lenders add up your housing costs and figure out what percentage they are of your gross monthly income. This figure is called your Gross Debt Service (GDS) ratio. To be considered for a mortgage, your GDS must be 32% or less of your gross household monthly income.
Affordability Rule 2
The second rule is that your entire monthly debt load should not be more than 40% of your gross monthly income. Your entire monthly debt load includes your housing costs (PITH) plus all your other debt payments (car loans or leases, credit card payments, lines of credit payments, etc.). You have calculated these on the Monthly Debt Payments form. This figure is called your Total Debt Service (TDS) ratio.
Click here to find useful tools and calculators to help you determine what you can afford.
Your Maximum House Price
The maximum home price that you can realistically afford depends on a number of factors. The most important factors are your household gross monthly income, your down payment and the mortgage interest rate. For many people, the hardest part of buying a home — especially their first one — is saving the necessary down payment.
If you think you are ready to buy your first home, or are thinking about selling your current home and buying a different one, call Kristie Moeller at 905 845 9180 or direct at 289 937 6969. She will help take all the confusion out of the process, and actually make it an enjoyable experience for you.