When you start making plans to work with a realtor, there are some very good things to consider ahead of time. Checklists, online mortgage calculators, and other home buying tools are only some of the things you’ll want in your house hunting toolkit when you are ready to become a home owner.
Decide What Your Priorities Are For Your New Home
Before you ever fill out FHA home loan paperwork, and long before you decide which real estate agent to work with, you should have an idea of what your main priorities are for your new home.
Do you need a home located near a certain school or type of school? Are you looking for some place quiet and residential and nowhere near a shopping mall, gas station, or movie theater?
Some priorities are more important than others; some house hunters anticipate needing child care and convenient access to it, others may wish their home to be on a strategic part of their morning commute.
Whatever your specific needs are, think about those in advance.
Decide On The Approximate Size Of The House You Need
FHA mortgage loans can be used to buy property with as many as four living units. You can use this option to buy a home you will grow into and not out of, or you can anticipate renting out unused units of the home to others and earning side income as a landlord.
Know The Limits Of Your Home Loan
FHA mortgage or not, many home loans have specific rules on how the property can be used. An FHA mortgage requires you to occupy the home as the main residence. FHA and other home loans do no permit using the property secured by the mortgage as an Air B-n-B or other type of temporary space-sharing rental property.
You also cannot get an FHA mortgage for a property you intend to operate as a bed-and-breakfast or other “transient occupancy” business where the renters stay less than 30 days.
Know The Housing Market You Want To Buy Your Home In
Are property values going up in the area where you want to live? Are they going down instead? Is the type of home you need hard to find in your market or are the kinds of houses you’re interested in typically available in your region?
Do you want to rule out houses in known flood zones or other natural disaster hazard areas?
These are all critical things to consider when getting ready to start the search for your first home and your first FHA mortgage loan.