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13 Prerequisites to Home Buying

If you are going to be a successful homeowner, you need to begin before you purchase a home.  Here is a list of some things to consider that will help you on the road to successful home ownership. 

1. Look at your finances and find ways to cut back on spending so that you will be prepared to make that home loan for the long-term. 

2.Do all you can to become debt free before applying for a home loan.  This will boost your credit score and will help you to avoid the problems of ending up with a bad credit mortgage. 

3. Establish or add to your savings accounts. 

4. Make sure that your job is stable and listen for the possibility of layoffs or transfers.  If those are possibilities, wait until there is more stability before house hunting. 

5. Look at the cost of the utilities in the area, and realize that they will be more costly than they were when you were renting. 

6. Be prepared to purchase window blinds and curtains, because your house will require them, and they can be fairly expensive. 

7. Comparison shop for homeowner's insurance that will cover the replacement value of the house for the most reasonable price. 

8. Realize that the builders in new subdivisions control the property values, where in established neighborhoods it is a matter of the prices paid for homes that have been sold. 

9. Check out the cost for property taxes in the area.  If it is a new home, the listed property tax will only be on the land, and it will go up quite a bit for the next year.  Even mortgage refinancing down the road may not lower your payment enough if the property taxes are too high. 

10. Look at online registries to be sure that registered sex offenders don't live near the house you have your eye on. 

11. Consider hiring a home inspector to inspect the house thoroughly, from basement to attic.  If a major repair is needed, the inspector will find it. 

12. Understand that maintenance of your home can be expensive.  Down the road you may consider a mortgage refinance to lower your payments or get some equity to make major repairs. 

13. Travel past the house you are considering purchasing at different times of the day and night, as well as on weekdays and weekends.  The beautiful quiet street could have dogs that bark all night or teenagers who speed along after school. 

These are just a few of the things it is helpful to consider before purchasing a home, so listen to the advice of others who have been there before so you can be as prepared as possible.