Steps to Buying a Baltimore Home
The Baltimore home buying process can be both exciting, and confusing, for a first time home buyer. In order to lessen the amount of confusion that naturally goes along with buying your first home, be sure that you have a thorough understanding of the Baltimore home buying process before you get started. Because Baltimore property listings offer a wide variety of options for a first time buyer, the process will not be exactly the same for any two buyers; however, the following outline shows what most first time homeowners go through when purchasing a home in Baltimore.
1. Decide how long you plan to remain in the home. As a general rule, a home will appreciate about three percent per year. If you do not plan to remain in the home for at least three years, it may not be a financially sound decision to purchase a home at this point in time.
2. Check your credit score. Your ability to obtain a mortgage will depend, to a large extent, on your credit score. The higher your score, the lower your interest rate will be. Federal law allows you to check your score with all three credit bureaus once per year at no cost through annualcreditreport.com.
3. Create a budget. As a general rule, your monthly mortgage, taxes and insurance payment should not be more than 30 percent of your gross income. All of your fixed debts (car payment, credit card payments etc.) together should not exceed 40 percent of your gross income. Creating a budget can help you decide which Baltimore property listings to focus on when you begin your search.
4. Make a list of your needs and wants for the new home. Prioritize your list by deciding what is the single most important factor and then going from there. For example, is a specific school district non-negotiable or must you have a pool?
5. Decide whether a new building or old fixer-upper is right for you. Baltimore property listings include numerous old, even historic, homes; however, the cost and time to renovate one may be prohibitive, meaning you should consider a newer property.
6. Put together down payment and closing costs. These can add up quickly depending on the type of mortgage loan you secure. Be sure you have set aside enough funds for those expenses before you even start searching Baltimore property listings.
7. Tour neighborhoods. Baltimore has a number of distinct neighborhoods. Narrowing down the areas in which you wish to live can expedite the Baltimore home buying process.
8. Consult with your real estate agent. Your real estate agent will likely be the key to finding you the perfect home. Take the time to sit down with him or her for a couple of hours over lunch or coffee to be sure that you are both on the same page and that your agent has a clear picture of what you are looking for and can afford.
By following these steps, the Baltimore home buying process should go as smooth as possible, meaning you will be in your dream home in no time!