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10 Ways to Prepare for Homeownership
- Decide what you can afford. Generally, you can afford a home equal in value to between two and three times your gross income.
- Develop your home wish list. Then, prioritize the features on your list.
- Select where you want to live. Compile a list of three or four neighborhoods you’d like to live in, taking into account items such as schools, recreational facilities, area expansion plans, and safety.
- Start saving. Do you have enough money saved to qualify for a mortgage and cover your down payment? Ideally, you should have 20 percent of the purchase price saved as a down payment. Also, don’t forget to factor in closing costs. Closing costs — including taxes, attorney’s fee, and transfer fees — average between 2 and 7 percent of the home price.
- Get your credit in order. Obtain a copy of your credit report to make sure it is accurate and to correct any errors immediately. A credit report provides a history of your credit, bad debts, and any late payments.
- Determine your mortgage qualifications. How large of mortgage do you qualify for? Also, explore different loan options — such as 30-year or 15-year fixed mortgages or ARMs — and decide what’s best for you.
- Get preapproved. Organize all the documentation a lender will need to preapprove you for a loan. You might need W-2 forms, copies of at least one pay stub, account numbers, and copies of two to four months of bank or credit union statements.
- Weigh other sources of help with a down payment. Do you qualify for any special mortgage or down payment assistance programs? Check with your state and local government on down payment assistance programs for first-time buyers. Or, if you have an IRA account, you can use the money you’ve saved to buy your fist home without paying a penalty for early withdrawal.
- Calculate the costs of homeownership. This should include property taxes, insurance, maintenance and utilities, and association fees, if applicable.
- Contact a REALTOR. Find an experienced realtor who can help guide you through the process.
Click on the links below for additional helpful tips on buying a home
Updates from Real Estate Industry News
To understand what you want and need in a home.
Do you think you’re ready to buy a home?
Reasons to sign a Buyer Representation Agreement.
Calculate the true cost of Homeownership.
Important steps of a transaction
What buyers should know about compensation, loyalty and shared expectations.
How much should you offer to pay?
FAQ about closing
Traditional versus REO Transactions
Is rent-to-own a good option for you?
Fair Housing and your Buyers Rep
The Negotiating Process
Evolution of Buyer Representation
5 Steps to Obtaining a Mortgage
Questions to ask when interviewing your ABR
Is a distressed property right for you?
Customer or Client? What is the Difference?
Real estate news in Westchester County
If you haven't already chosen a community to move to, there are many factors that you may consider such as schools, distance to work and or family, community resources and activity, etc.
Individual town websites including recreation activities and contacts:
Town of Harrison
City of Rye
Harrison Central School District (includes Purchase)
Rye City School District
Blind Brook Public Schools (Rye Brook)
Port Chester Public Schools
Bronxville Public Schools
Eastchester Public Schools
Tuckahoe Public Schools
Search and compare all public and private schools
Metro North Train Schedules
Hudson Valley Traveler (Traffic, travel and transit info for Westchester)
Events and News in Westchester
Lead Paint Pamphlet
16 Elm Place, Rye, NY
Phone: 914.967.7680 Ext. 340