Length of time you plan to keep the property. It's important to consider how long you intend to keep your home or property to determine if it's more economical to buy or rent, which can vary dramatically by locality.
Job security. If your job may require you to relocate, you are considering getting a new job in a different city or, even worse, you are at risk of losing your current job, getting a home loan may not be in your best interest. Lenders typically like to see two years of job history, though that isn’t always necessary if you have changed jobs within the same field.
Down payment. The Federal Housing Administration offers loans with down payments as little as 3 percent, but by putting down less than 20%, you'll have to pay for private mortgage insurance every month, which could dramatically increase your monthly mortgage payment. Aside from interest rates, it's important to know how much you have for a down payment and how much monhly mortgage expense you can afford before getting a home loan.
Emotional readiness. Home ownership is not for everyone. If you're uncertain about whether you want to stay in the same location or travel the world, owning a home might not be in your best interest. It's also important to factor in the additional responsibilities that come with home ownership. If something breaks and needs to be fixed, it's no longer the responsibility of your landlord, which can be a diffcult transition for new homeowners.
Financial security. Having a reliable source of income, good credit and additional money stashed away, aside from your down payment, are all important things to consider before purchasing a home. All of those factors can significantly impact your home buying experience. It's easy to forget that all homes, even brand new ones, require upkeep and yes, things do suddenly break for no reason.
Your local housing market. Depending on where you live. buying a home may be less expensive than renting, but that's not the case in all cities. Doing your own market research for where you currently live or where you plan to may help you determine what is best. Also, since purchasing is a home is generally a long-term decision, you want to ensure you're not making too many sacrifices to afford the home you want or your desired type of home is in short supply. Be patient and vigilant.
Pre-approval can be a good idea, so that you and your broker can be better prepard for when it's time to begin the closing process. It can make the loan process smoother and can also help you know what is in your price range when purchasing a home. Pre-approvals usually last for a set set period of time-- commonly 60 days. Once, that time has lapsed your broker will need to renew it with new documents or start the process over. Additionally, if the appraisal for your desired property comes back lower than anticipated, the lender may decide to not fund your loan, despite being pre-approved. Keep in mind that any changes to your financial situation between pre-approval and formal approval, could prevent the bank from funding your loan. It's important that you work closely with your broker throughout this process to help prevent any unexpected issues from coming up that may push back your closing or prevent you from closing on your home.