Plan Ahead, and Enjoy the Benefits of A Good Purchase!

Posted by Laura Kocum on Monday, April 29th, 2019 at 1:36pm.

It can be easy to watch the market reports, and to obsess over the mortgage rates rising or falling. But Laurie Ellis-McLeod of AERIE Preferred Financial Group, LLC, says the market isn't the most important thing to consider. "Your purchase will ultimately be more dependent on factors you can control, like your credit score, or the amount you've saved for a down payment."

The credit score is key to getting the best rates, and it can be improved. Do you have debts? Do everything you can to pay them off, or develop a plan to do this efficiently. Avoid making large purchases, or opening (or closing) credit card accounts. Your credit score has great impact on the mortgages and other loans for which you can qualify. Do everything you can to pay your bills on time, and to correct any past mistakes before you start your hunt for a home.

 Then, consider the lifestyle you want to have. Look at your budget, and consider how a mortgage and other payments will affect your life. You may be approved for a large loan, but you may not want the large monthly payments that come with it. Consider your day-to-day life, and determine a reasonable amount that you are willing to spend. As you do this, remember to consider utilities, maintenance, and related association expenses.  

In addition, Ellis-McLeod encourages buyers to ask themselves, "Can I afford the lifestyle that comes with a property?" You may think you love a home, but can you afford the maintenance of a larger yard, the membership fees for the neighborhood association, or the expectations of the neighbors around you? "If you bite off more than you can chew, it can frustrate you later," Ellis-McLeod says.  "Create a workable scenario before you start looking. Consider all your expenses, not just the mortgage, and make sure you will have the freedom to live the way you prefer." 

Above all, Ellis-McLeod encourages buyers to look at all potential outcomes, and enter your purchase prepared. "Don't get into a situation that is not sustainable. I recommend that you look at both your best case and your worst case scenario. You want your home to fit both financial situations, so that you can look back and be pleased with the purchase," she says. Working with an experienced realtor is key at this point, and will help you navigate the hot market that continues in Dane County.

 If you have these items worked out in advance, it can be much easier to make a quick real estate decision. Enter your property search process knowing what you want for your upcoming retirement, or the schools your children (or future children) might need. Look at properties that fit within your budget, and understand your financial picture, in order to be ready to make an offer when you find the right home. 

Meeting with a financial professional can help you determine your goals for all areas of your life, and prepare you for a home purchase. To learn more about Laure Ellis-McLeod's services, visit her website at: https://www.aeriepfg.com/.

 Securities and Advisory Services Offered Through Harbour Investments, Inc.

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