Home is where your future is

Homeownership remains a goal for many because of its numerous benefits. Along with the enjoyment of owning a home comes an investment in your future, stability for you and your family, tax savings, personal satisfaction and a sense of community. Thanks to a variety of financing options, more families are realizing their real estate dreams. BEST REAL ESTATE agents understand that choosing to buy a home is probably one of the most important personal and financial decisions you will make. That’s why our professional staff works with you every step of the way. We encourage you to take time to read this webpage thoroughly and complete the worksheets provided. Make note of your questions as you read. Your BEST REAL ESTATE agent will provide you personalized service and answer your every question or concern.



Owning a home is a valued investment which can have financial advantages. Because homes generally increase in value, each payment you make is an investment in your future. And even if your home doesn’t appreciate much, which is rare, you will benefit from the monthly forced savings that result from paying down the remaining balance due on your loan.
With each monthly payment, you also build home equity – the difference between what your home is worth now and what you paid for it. When you sell, your equity is your profit. This gain can help you purchase your next home, perhaps move up to a larger one. Or you can tap into the equity for college tuition loans or retirement needs at a rate which is generally lower than available on personal loans. Also making payments toward and ultimately paying off a loan is an excellent way to establish a good credit rating.


Perhaps the most tangible yet greatest treasure of homeownership is the personal satisfaction in living in a home that you own. You are free to keep pets, plant a garden and remodel or redecorate to reflect your personal style. A home gives you and your family a feeling of stability and commitment.
A special sense of security and satisfaction comes as you begin to put down roots in a neighborhood.


One of the single most important steps to take before you begin to purchase a home is to evaluate your assets and liabilities and monthly expenditures. Begin by examining your current monthly average spending. Include everything from housing expenses and transportation to debt repayments and entertainment. As you collect your spending data, think about how a real estate purchase – including loan payments, insurance, taxes, repairs and maintenance – will affect your budget and ability to save. Are there areas in which you need to cut back to make more room for a loan payment and other ownership expenses?


The answer to this question is based on two factors: (1) How much you feel comfortable spending on a monthly basis after surveying your budget and spending habits and (2) How much your lender calculates you can afford based on your income and debt obligations.
It is important to understand how a real estate is financed. There are three crucial elements: (1) a down payment, (2) closing costs and (3) the loan. When you know the amount of down payment, closing costs and monthly loan payments you can afford, you can better determine how much home you can afford.


A down payment is the money you pay up front toward the real estate. The higher the down payment, the lower the monthly payment and interest fees. There are a number of alternate programs available.


Loans through the Government carry attractive down payment requirements. There is usually a maximum on the amount of money you can borrow.


Closing is when ownership of your new real estate is officially legally transferred from the seller to you and documented locally. Sometimes sellers will pay closing costs. If not, be prepared to pay an additional two to five percent of the home purchase price. These costs can be generalized into three categories:


Unless you’re wealthy enough to pay cash for your real estate, you’ll need to take out a loan – a loan that you obtain to close the gap between the cash you have for a down payment and the purchase price of the real estate. The amount of this loan will be decided by the price of the real estate and your down payment. Getting pre-approved for a certain loan will allow you to know what price range your lender will approve and give you more buying strength.
Lenders factor in sales price and down payment, but place more importance on how much you can handle on a monthly basis. The term of loan, the interest rate and the principal amount of the loan will determine the amount of your monthly payments. The higher the interest rate, the higher the monthly payments. The length of most real estate loans is 15 or 30 years. Note that you must also add property taxes, home insurance costs, and, in some cases, homeowner’s association fees, to these figures for a realistic monthly obligation.


Like many other products and services, numerous loan options are available. They fall into two basic categories:

With fixed-rate loan loans, the interest rate stays the same and your monthly loan payment amount does not change, which makes budgeting easier. The interest rates on these loans are usually a little higher than adjustable loans since the lender is establishing a set interest for many years.
Adjustable-rate loan (ARM) loans have an interest rate that fluctuates up and down throughout the life of the loan, depending on market conditions. The rate could change as often as every month, so it can be difficult to budget. An ARM is an attractive option because it usually starts out at a lower interest rate, which may enable you to qualify to borrow more.
Shop around for your loan, and ask lots of questions. Since you will be living with it for many years, make sure to get one best suited to your financial circumstances.


After you’ve determined how much real estate you can afford and which loan option is best for you, prioritize your needs and wants for your new real estate. The two main factors are location and style of your real estate.
It’s true. Location is the most important factor in buying a new home. It will partially determine the price of the home and will be a powerful influence on your lifestyle. Check out the amenities of the neighborhoods you’re considering, and talk to the people who live in those areas. Ask co-workers and acquaintances for their recommendations. And ask an experienced BEST REAL ESTATE agent for current information.
Next you’ll need to decide what you want in a home. The first basic choice is between a newly-constructed home and an existing one. If you’re looking to own a home that nobody else has laid claim to and brings with it the latest in style and efficiency, a new home is what you’re after. The downside is that new homes are usually more expensive than homes offered for resale. To many, an existing home that has been well cared for and is located in an established neighborhood is much more desirable than a new home.
You’ll also need to choose between a single family home or a condominium. A single family home gives you the most privacy and is generally more spacious. Plus it comes with a yard. Condos free you from the burden of general upkeep and provide common areas. They are also usually more affordable, but monthly maintenance charges exist with these options.


Narrowing your search to homes with specific features will save you time during the house-hunting process and help your BEST REAL ESTATE find homes just right for you. Use this list, or create your own, to define your future home. Of course, your final selection will likely require compromise.


Finding your new home can be a rewarding experience, especially when you have a BEST REAL ESTATE agent at your side, working and negotiating on your behalf. Some people choose to find a home on their own, but a BEST REAL ESTATE agent will have many up-to-the-minute listings available that may not appear in the newspaper or on the Internet, and can save you lots of time by screening for properties that best suit you.
We know that you’re looking for more than just a roof over your head. You’re looking for a place to express your lifestyle and values, a place to spend time with family and friends, a place to retreat at the end of the day. That’s why we learn what is important to you and search until you are completely satisfied.