First Time Home Buyer - Hilton Head?
It is fun to own a home. You get to decorate it how you'd like, have guests enjoy it with you and it is a permanent place for you to relax and find peace. There are, however, financial responsibilities beyond the mortgage that you should be prepared for.
The critical difference in owning a home and renting is that the responsibility to perform the home maintanance is on the home owner. When you are renting, there is a certain freedom in knowing that if the A/C breaks, the home owner will have to replace that for you. When you own your home, that repair is on the you. There are further responsibilities that are to be considered as well with respect to HOAs. We can talk more in depth and answer your questions if you would contact us.
Questions for Prospective Homeowners
Are you ready to buy?
Being a homeowner means more than simply getting to choose your own paint colors. It is a responsibility to maintain the home over the years, realizing that part of your income will go towards keeping the home in great condition. Certainly, there are benefits to home ownership, but you should also be prepared for the costs involved as well.
How much can you afford?
Buying your first home is an important decision. Sometimes people get discouraged when they find out that their income doesn't line up with their dream home. It is good, however, that there is a built-in protection for first time home buyers. Getting in over your head will quickly turn your dream home into a burden and we'd like to avoid that scenario. It is better to find a home with a modest morgage payment, then look down the road for your "Dream Home" once that vision materializes.
What is your debt-to-income ratio?
The debt to income ratio is one of the most important factors in lendors' decision making. Your total debt should not exceed 40% of your total income, while your housing debt should not be more than 32%. What this means in Hilton Head is that if you're going to purchase a home, you should look for one where the payment doesn't exceed 32% of your monthly income. In other words, you have to make about three times your estimated mortgage amount to get approved from a mortgage lender.
What kind of home are you looking for?
Home ownership is not limited to just single family homes with yards. It can also include condos, townhomes or other multi-family dwellings. Some people don't enjoy mowing and taking care of a lawn and would prefer to pay a fee to have their HOA take care of that work. Others love the thought of cleaning gutters and planting flower beds. An honest assesment of what type of home you're looking for is a great place to start.
The Ocean Broker Can Help
The Ocean Broker has been here for more than 30 years! Our team of professional Hilton Head real estate agents is committed to helping you find the home you're looking for at the right price. We're also committed to assisting you in your home ownwership experience....from start to finish. As a first time buyer in Hilton Head, you may find the process overwhelming. We're here to help you through the process and get you started down the path of home ownership.
Keep your objectives in mind. During the process of seeing homes, it is always good to keep your emotions in check as you search. Sometimes buyers will find that they "fall in love" with a home which may not meet their financial and home ownership objectives. We will try to help you in the decision-making process while we're showing you homes. We may remind you of some of your own goals as you look to see if the home you are seeing meet up with your goals and plans.
A good real estate lawyer. Transfering ownership of a home requires someone with great knowledge of South Carolina real estate law. We will help guide you to the perfect professional to help you with the closing process.
Make the offer. Making an offer as a first time buyer might be a bit overwhelming, but we can take the confusion out of the process for you. With more than 30 years serving Hilton Head, we understand the ins- and outs- of the market and will help you through the offer/counteroffer process.
Get all necessary inspections done. Home inspectors will thoroughly inspect the house you've contracted to make sure that there aren't any hidden surprises which will cost you money down the road. They go through the home looking at everything from the foundation to the roof searching for hidden damage or issues. Then, after the inspection, we can help renegotiate for you to cover any significant issues they may find.
Do a final walkthrough before you close. Typically, this is done on closing day to make sure the previous owners didn't remove items which were supposed to be in the cotract. Items like appliances that were to be left with the home, fixtures like window coverings or potentially damage that they might have done after the inspection. The final walkthrough is a protection for you as the buyer.
We take the complication out of buying your first home here in the Hilton Head area. Contact us for more information about first time home purchasing.