1. Are You Ready?
If you’re a first-time home buyer, you have more options than you may think if you’re ready to own your own home. The first thing to consider is if you’ve saved enough money for a down payment. First-time buyers are eligible for FHA loans, in which you only have to have as little as 3.5% down. Depending upon your credit score, how long you’ve been employed, and your debt ratio, you may be able to obtain a conventional loan with mortgage companies and banks for a lower down payment percentage.
If you’re a veteran or active duty military, you are eligible for a VA loan, which requires NO MONEY DOWN up to certain amounts. In King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties, the total loan amount limit is $667,000 as of 2019. It’s a great benefit for those who are currently or have served our country in the armed services.
2. Location, Location, Location
Commuting can be painful. Be sure to investigate traffic access and flow for busy times of the day
Know your surrounding areas! Do your research to make sure there are no “annoyances” that could make your living conditions uncomfortable and even affect your resale value. For example, if you move close to power lines, rail lines, or industrial sites that emit odors, it could make your life miserable. Interview neighbors and and ask questions about the surrounding area with your real estate agent. In the long run, it could save a lot of pain and anguish.
Another thing to consider is your proximity to schools or frequently needed services like grocery stores, restaurants, medical clinics, public transit, etc. Is it important to have these services within a 10 minutes drive or so? It definitely something to consider. Convenience over time can be a valuable thing and something that could also be used to include in your resale value proposition.
3. School District
Naturally anyone with children of school ages will be looking for school districts that have a good track records and have high marks for their educational programs and teachers. But, even empty nesters and those without children should be looking for school districts with a good rankings within the state. Home prices might be higher in these areas if the school district is highly ranked, but it can also help with a resale in the future. When you’re buying a home, always think about the resale of the property, because average
4. Know Potential Resale Value?
For most Americans, buying a home is their biggest investment. Although single family homes do appreciate in value, it can be difficult to evaluate how much your investment will rise over time. Home prices in Seattle have increased dramatically over the last 10 years, but as you move away from Seattle and Bellevue, they haven’t increased as much. Real estates can be very fickle, but if you do some research and ask your real estate agent about the potential resale, you can make your home a wealth building instrument.