How Much House Can I Afford: 5 Questions You Should Answer Before Looking at Homes

As an experienced real estate attorney part of my job is to help homebuyers get information needed to make an informed buying decision.  Unfortunately many buyers who come to me after making an offer describe the process as mysterious or confusing.   This would not happen if potential buyers took a little time to acquire important information before looking at houses.  While individual preference items like neighborhood, house sizes and styles are important there are several questions you need to answer so you can be confident about HOW MUCH HOUSE YOU CAN AFFORD before starting your house search.

I always tell home buyers they need to understand the process before starting.  Figure out how much of a house you can afford, the neighborhood you want and most importantly who can help you make it happen.  Speak with an experienced attorney specializing in residential real estate before you start looking. I tell my clients to speak to me so they can find an excellent mortgage broker and an experienced realtor.  The mortgage broker will help you to determine how much mortgage you can afford and your realtor can give you an idea what neighborhood makes sense based on your budget.  Once you get the information from the mortgage broker and realtor a quick conversation with your lawyer can help you focus in on suitably priced properties before you start shopping.

Five questions you should ask before looking at homes are as follows:

  • How much will I need to put down on the house
  • How much mortgage can I afford
  • What will my mortgage payment be
  • What other monthly costs will I have to pay – Real estate taxes, insurance, PMI & flood insurance and utilities
  • Have I selected my attorney before I get started
Steven T. Decker is an experienced real estate lawyer, author and speaker. With over 20 years of experience, Steven represents individuals and investors in the purchase of residential and commercial real property. Steven is the author of "The Five Myths that can Ruin the Purchase of Your Home" and he is the publisher of the "New York Real Estate Law Blog". If you are buying or selling a home or commercial property in Staten Island, New York City or New Jersey contact Steven T. Decker, Esq. to discuss the services that he offers and how his legal representation will assist you.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this website is provided for general educational purposes only, should not be relied on as legal advice and does not serve to create an attorney client relationship. In utilizing this website you acknowledge that there is no attorney client relationship between you and Steven T. Decker, Esq. and that the information contained on this site does not and cannot serve as a replacement for the competent legal advice of a licensed attorney in your state. The content of this website is subject to the Copyright of its author, Steven T. Decker, Esq.
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