Thursday, September 10, 2009


by Debi Bentlage

Buying a first home, or deciding to move up, is an important decision and because you want to make the right decision, you want to ask the right questions.

Two questions to consider before you begin the process of finding a home are:
How much home can you afford?” and "How do you find the right home?”

The real answer to the affordability question is how much home a lender calculates you can afford—and the bottom line is the monthly payment. A general guideline is that a monthly payment shouldn’t be higher than 28 percent of your gross monthly income, or total monthly expenses should not exceed 36 percent, but you must also feel comfortable with that payment.

Lenders use a variety of formulas for arriving at the total monthly housing costs and how they qualify an individual for a home mortgage. These costs generally include mortgage principal and interest payment, property taxes, and hazard insurance, and if required, mortgage insurance.

Also keep in mind the First Time Home Buyer’s tax credit of $8000. This incentive expires on Dec. 1, 2009.

As a buyer, you can help make the process of finding a home go more smoothly if you spend some time defining the general style of home you prefer, and any particular needs you may have for that home to fit your lifestyle. You need to establish your priorities on such elements as the kind of kitchen you want, or if you want an open floor plan, formal dining room, basement or garage. The kind and extent of yard is also something to consider, as is the neighborhood, and whether you are willing to negotiate on any of your style preferences.

A Realtor can help in answering ALL of your questions, and guide you through one of the most important decisions of your life.

Let’s get started on making your dreams a reality!

For information on real estate in the Port Clinton, Catawba, Marblehead, Oak Harbor and surrounding areas, call Debi Bentlage, Jack Bradley Realty Co. 1-419-276-7755 or 419-734-5551.