Sometimes the reporting on the world of real estate gets so caught up in the rapidly changing landscape that the elements of buying and selling real estate that are most important for the public are not given the attention they deserve. Yesterday a great article in the San Jose Mercury News came out where a series of industry professionals gave wise words to aid home buyers. Since the article is basically a series of quotes, it seems most fitting to just go ahead and list our some of the best ones, one-by-one. While they are pretty self-explanatory, they are very easy to lose sight of once buyers get into the process.
Jim Walton, vice president of consumer credit with MetLife Bank in Irving, Texas
“There is more to home- ownership than a housing payment. Homeownership requires a commitment to a property and to a community.”
“A lender can tell you the maximum mortgage you qualify for, but financial experts recommend that you determine your own upper limit for a housing payment.”
“Buyers should take a disciplined approach to saving for a down payment, and then they need to be able to continue to save after they buy, for home maintenance and emergencies.”
“A rent-versus-own calculator can be a good resource, but generally these will show you the maximum mortgage you qualify for at the best rates.”
“Buyers need to factor in maintenance costs which can run from 1 (percent) to 4 percent of the home value per year.”
Marc Schindler, a certified financial planner in Bellaire, Texas
“If you needed the cash from the sale of a home, it would take time to sell and cost about 7 percent of the home value for transaction costs.”
“I would recommend that no more than 25 percent of your asset allocation should be in real estate. For someone young with few assets, that may mean postponing buying a home until you can save more money.”
“Potential buyers should research their housing market to determine whether owning or renting is more affordable.”
Leslie Wilder, a Realtor with McEnearney Associates in Arlington, Va
“[In a] market [that] is relatively stable, I counsel buyers to look at a minimum of a three- to five-year investment. In other markets, I think you need to own for a minimum of five years or longer.”
“Buyers need to think not only about what they want now, but also what they will want in five years.”
“If you are a good, solid buyer financially, with savings, a steady income and job stability, and you can commit to staying in a home for the long-term … then it makes sense to buy now.”
Some good stuff here, and relevant for just about any buyer, whether it is their first rodeo or they are a seasoned veteran. Any pearls of wisdom you would care to add? Leave a comment below!