A Home Buying Budget

Dated: 03/13/2018

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Purchasing a home is an exciting and confusing time.  Everyone will be happy to give advice and opinions on how and what you need to know, how much you should or shouldn’t spend, who to use not only to purchase the home (Realtor®) but also to assist you in determining how much you should spend (mortgage lender).

Meeting with a mortgage lender is one of the first steps a home buyer needs to do to make sure they have a pre-qualification letter to submit with any offer they decide to write.  However, there are a few things a lender may not take into consideration when qualifying you for that mortgage.  Owning a home and a home owning you are two different things, but relate to your financial situation either way.

A lender will take into consideration all things they need to know in order to determine a dollar amount they are willing to lend you.  These numbers will be based on an annual salary, debt established in your name and your past loan ability to manage and repay your loans.  Many wonder if student loans will be considered in your application process. This may vary, so be sure you speak with whomever you are getting your pre-qualification through.

A few things a lender will not ask about, but as an educated buyer you should make sure have been properly planned or budgeted for unforeseen circumstances surrounding:

Medical Expenses
Whether you have insurance or not, there may come a time you need money for an unexpected medical cost.  Maybe you need a surgery or procedure that is not covered by insurance.  Be sure you have some extra money in your budget or savings to cover these costs.

If you have been renting, many utilities are built into the rent payment.  However, once you take on a mortgage, utilities like cable, trash, heat and water will not be included in your payment but rather you will receive an additional bill for these costs.  Don’t feel like you can’t inquire from the current owner what their monthly bills are for the utilities.  If you do get this information, don't assume they are accurate - but rather use them as an educated estimate/guess.  Expenses may increase or decrease based on seasonal weather patterns, how you live in the home, number of people residing in the property, whom you contract for cable or internet services, etc.

In a nutshell, life happens.  We all like to eat out, go to a move, buy a new outfit or take a vacation now and again.  Be sure you include in your budget whether monthly or a lump amount dollars to allow you to live the lifestyle you are used to.  Don’t be afraid to order a pizza because you won’t be able to make your monthly mortgage.

Having a car is a must in today’s world; and having car costs is a given.  What if that car breaks down?  Be sure you have an adequate amount of money set aside for unexpected costs such as oil changes, engine or tire replacements and such.  These costs can be expensive, especially if you need to purchase a new car and insurance doesn’t give you enough to cover that unexpected OOPS.

Make sure you plan to succeed.  If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.

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Solomon Thomas

Solomon Thomas and the Minnesota Home Team are your Twin Cities leading real estate experts! Whether you are looking to purchase or sell a home, Solomon will provide you with a positive, enjoyable re....

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