Mortgage 101: Important Conversations to Have When Buying a Home

You and your significant other had the most important conversation of all: deciding to buy a home together. However, now that you’ve done that, there are a lot of other conversations you need to have about how you’ll move forward. Before you apply for a mortgage with an approved lender, we recommend having these important conversations first. 

Why Do We Want a House? 

This may seem like a silly question to ask after you’ve already decided to buy one, but believe it or not, it’s a question many couples forget to ask. Buying a house is a big deal. It’s also a major investment, so you need to understand why you want to do this. 

Are you looking to buy a new home because you need more space? Because you want to keep up with your friends on Facebook? Or do you want one because you’re ready to take the next step in your relationship? By determining why you want to buy a house, you may realize that a condo may better serve your needs or that, realistically, you can only afford to continue renting at the moment. Or you may discover that buying a home is something you’re ready and excited for to grow your family. It’s better to analyze your motives for buying a house upfront so you can feel confident it’s something you really want to do. 

How Much of a Mortgage Can We Afford? 

Before buying a house, you should first figure out how much you can afford. Realistically look at your current financial situation, including your debt-to-income ratio and other expenses. Not only does this help give you an idea of what kind of money you have to play around with, but it can identify areas you need to improve upon. 

For example, if you have a few thousand dollars left on your lowest credit card, making a plan to pay it off by a certain date can increase your credit score so you have more options available to you when you’re truly ready to buy. While these conversations aren’t always easy to have, they’re necessary to prevent stress in the future if you get a loan for a home you can’t genuinely afford. 

Where Do We Want to Live? 

When it comes to deciding where to live, you have to play out what your life will look like in different scenarios, especially if you plan on living in the home for a long time. 

For example, if you plan on having children one day, you should consider the town’s school district. Is it a district you like, or one that you feel uncomfortable with? If you’re not a fan of the school, you may have to consider a different town. Furthermore, do you want a house that’s close to your current job or are you planning on transitioning into another career at some point down the line? 

You should also discuss the pros and cons of living in certain areas. If you live in the city, how will that affect your daily commute? What will parking be like? Will you be comfortable living in an area with a lot of noise – and if so, how will that affect your plans of raising a family? Figuring out all of this is important to decide what kind of home to look for when you meet with your real estate agent. 

How Long Do We Want to Live Here? 

It’s not only important to figure out where you want to live; you also have to determine if you want to buy your home for the long haul. Many younger couples may be interested in a starter home as their first purchase. Starter homes are usually small and have one or two bedrooms. As the couple’s family grows bigger and their finances change, they may sell the home in search of their forever home. 

Answering this question can also help you and your mortgage lender figure out what type of mortgage is right for you. 

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What Do We Want in a Home? What Do We Need? 

Maybe you work remotely and you really want your own office so you can concentrate during the day. Or maybe you want a finished basement that you can use as a spare bedroom or entertainment area. Maybe you want bigger closets, more storage space, or a kitchen that has a lot more counter space than your current apartment. Ask one another what your non-negotiables are and then figure out if they’re something you absolutely need and if not, how the two of you can negotiate so you’re both happy. 

Remember, just because your home doesn’t have certain amenities you want now doesn’t mean you can’t get them by remodeling or changing things around once you’re settled. However, determining what you absolutely need in order to feel confident in your purchase will go a long way in keeping both of you happy and lowering the risk of resentment you might feel if you agreed to a home that has nothing you were looking for. 

What Can We Cut Back On?

If you’re buying a home, you’re going to need a down payment. Not to mention, you’re going to want to furnish the home and make changes after you get settled. Unfortunately, both of these things cost money, so talking realistically about what you can cut back on to save some cash is an important conversation to have. 

If you grab a cup of coffee every morning before work, how much can you save if you bring a thermos from home? Are there streaming services like Hulu or Netflix you can cancel? Are there memberships you let lapse but are still paying for? Finding ways you can cut back on your current expenses can help you save. Plus, it’ll make you feel better knowing you’re taking steps to a better future and financial freedom

After You’ve Had These Conversations, The Next Step is to Call City Creek Mortgage

Having these conversations is important to make sure you and your significant other are on the same page before you move forward with buying a house. When you’re ready, contact the qualified mortgage lenders at City Creek Mortgage to help: 801-501-7950. 

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