Posted by: Larry Stevens | September 20, 2010

Tips for First Time Home Buyers in Idaho

Thank you for once again visiting my Boise Realtor website! It is my hope to help those looking to buy a home in Idaho stay informed on real estate news and information that effects you in your search for the perfect home. Want to find homes in Boise or anywhere in Idaho that meet your needs? Visit my Boise Real Estate website for the very best home searches online today. In this installment we will discuss tips for first time home buyers in Boise that can help make buying your first home a bit easier. Are you a first time home buyer in Idaho looking to get into this historically beneficial buyers market? Before you jump in there are a few steps you can take to help you decide whether you are ready to take the plunge.

Price Check!
Check the selling prices of comparable homes in your area. Realtor Websites such as AA Realtors can give you a general idea of what you should expect to pay. You can also do a quick search of actual MLS listings in your area.

Can You Afford It?
See what you can afford. Use the mortgage calculator on my website to see what your payment would be. Find out what your total monthly housing cost would be, including taxes and homeowners insurance. To get a feel for the maximum amount you should spend, including taxes and insurance. In some areas, what you’ll pay for your taxes and insurance escrow can almost double your mortgage payment.

Insurance is Good
To get an idea of what you’ll pay in insurance, pick a property in the area where you want to live and make a call to a local insurance agent for an estimate. You won’t be obligated to get the insurance, but you’ll have a good idea of what you’ll pay if you buy. For an idea of what you’ll pay in taxes, most properties on my website have property-tax information in the property features. Just remember that exemptions and the intricacies of local tax law (such as Florida’s Save Our Homes value cap) can create differences between what a homeowner is currently paying and what you can expect to pay as a new homeowner.

Closing Costs
Find out how much you’ll likely pay in closing costs. The upfront cost of settling on your home shouldn’t be ignored. Closing costs include origination fees charged by the lender, title and settlement fees, taxes and prepaid items such as homeowners insurance or homeowners association fees.

Look at your budget and determine how a house fits into it. Fannie Mae recommends that buyers spend no more than 28% of their income on housing costs. Go much past 30% and you risk becoming house poor. Talk to reputable real-estate agents like me about the real-estate climate. Do they believe prices will continue falling or do they think your area has hit bottom or will rise soon? This insight into how the market is behaving could save you big money.

The Big Picture
Remember to look at the big picture. While buying a house is a great way to build wealth, maintaining your investment can be labor-intensive and expensive. When unexpected costs for new appliances, roof repairs and plumbing problems crop up, there’s no landlord to turn to, and these costs can drain your bank account.

The best step you can take is to work with a qualified Boise Realtor like Larry Stevens of AA Realtors Boise. I can help you find homes you are qualified to buy that meet your needs quickly and easily, as well as help you avoid common mistakes and pitfalls that can bog down your home buying process. Don’t delay, call me today!

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