Purchasing a home in Oklahoma or anywhere else at anytime is a big deal, but buying your first home can be quite overwhelming. I wrote this article to make future home owners aware of a few things first time buyers should know. First of all, realize that the old adage is true; location, location, location is always the most important thing. Start by picking an area you like, in an excellent neighborhood, with a home that fits your present and future needs, and then you can get started on the details. The most important things to consider are listed below:
Your Financial state and Plans for the Future:
Evaluate the price of your current monthly rent so that you will be able to compare that with all the costs of buying and owning a home. One of the most important things to do is count your savings and see if you really have enough to cover the down payment and closing costs if they are needed on your loan. Weigh your current income and job security (any upcoming promotions or pay increases?) and how they correspond with your plans for the future. If you plan to move within the next 3 to 5 years, you will definitely need to choose a different type of Oklahoma Mortgage than if you plan to be in the same place for the next 10 years, whereas if you plan to move within a few years, it may be more economical to keep renting until then.
Current Oklahoma Real Estate Market Conditions and Mortgage Loan Programs:
Check out the property prices; if they are rising, now could be a good time to buy, but if they are falling, buying now could end up costing you money if you try to sell in the future. Look at the market’s current interest rate. Next, learn about the available Oklahoma Mortgage products. Learn the difference between fixed rate mortgage and ARM mortgage and interest only mortgage. Your credit score which is determined by your credit history will make a significant difference in the kind of Oklahoma Mortgage loan and interest rate you qualify for. Programs like the 100% Oklahoma USDA Mortgage and a Oklahoma FHA Mortgage allow you to purchase a home with little or no money down. You can check with your Oklahoma Mortgage lender to see if you qualify for these products.
Costs involved with buying a home:
As unpleasant as it is, you will need to calculate the closing costs into your budget for buying a house. These costs include attorney’s fees, real estate appraisal fees, the title fee, credit report fee, the lender fees, a property inspection fee, and state mortgage taxes. You can find out from your lender what all of these fees will equal by obtaining an initial fee worksheet or a good faith estimate. Usually the total closing costs equal around 3.5% of the total loan amount. Also you can’t forget about the down payment, which can be as much as 20% of the cost of the home with a conventional /conforming loan. If you don’t have enough money saved for the down payment and or closing costs, there are Oklahoma Mortgage products that allow you to purchase a home without a down payment or closing cost out of your pocket. This is done by rolling the closing costs into the loan and by getting a 100% Home Mortgage loan, but that will result in a larger overall loan.
Something often forgotten by first time home buyers is the recurring cost of owning a home. Real estate taxes and homeowners insurance are required when you own a home. And these costs vary based on many different factors. Usually these cost end up being escrowed, meaning each month on top of your monthly principle and interest mortgage payment you will be required to pay 1/12 of the annual cost of each to the lender. The home lender will in turn be responsible for paying both at the end of each year or when it comes due. One thing to keep in mind is what is called the “31/50 rule.” This is that your monthly housing payments should not surpass 31% of your gross monthly earnings, and that all of your monthly debts should not be more than 50% of your total gross monthly income. If you can keep to this guideline you can afford a house.
If, after evaluating all the costs of buying and owning a home, you decide that you can’t afford it right now, it is wise to wait and keep saving. It is better to rent now while saving for that down payment or consolidating your monthly debt than to jump into water over your head. If you decide that now is the time to buy, start early, because closing takes time, and find an Oklahoma Mortgage professional you can trust.
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