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How to educate yourself in house buying

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If you're buying your first home, the idea of looking at things like St. Albert real estate may feel like you're staring down a big problem.  You might not know which items to consider, how much to have saved up, or even how to put in an offer.  It's not as scary or complicated as some media may lead you to believe: but it is essential to be smart about your decisions.  Here are some ways to educate yourself without having to become a realtor yourself!

Read up on the market

The first thing you should look into is what your market is currently looking like.  A buyers' market is when the supply is higher than the demand, and a lot of people are trying to offload their homes quickly.  This panic means you'll have a better chance at naming your price- and that there's a more significant possibility that you'll get other perks thrown in.  You may see things like sellers paying closing costs and homes selling below market value during a buyers' market.

A sellers' market is when there's more demand than supply.  This market typically means the shoe is on the other foot, and sellers can be more selective.  This type is when bidding wars are most common, and homes often get sold for way above market value.  In some cases, houses don't even have to be appropriately staged to sell quickly.

Learn by doing

If you're buying a home, or someone you know is buying a home, learn by going through the steps.  You should find what you can afford, find a loan, and then be ready to apply to houses with that loan in hand.  Although you don't necessarily have to have the loan yet, it makes your offer more convincing when you make the offer if you have an agreement in principle.  This shows the lenderes are willing to lend to you and you are a serious buyer. 

Calculate what you can afford

Think about how much you could afford to pay per month.  A good piece of advice is never to get a house with payments worth more than a third of what you make in a month.  To break this down, if you make three thousand pounds a month- you can afford a one thousand pound house payment.  That's twelve thousand a year.  If you're going off a ten-year loan, you can afford a £120,000 home- if you're going on a thirty-year mortgage, it's more like £360,000.  Consider if you have any substantial life changes coming up soon and whether those would affect your financial situation.  Also, if there are two of you buying together then you can include both of your incomes.

Look into loans in your area

Shop around at banks and lenders to find rates that match what you're going to be able to pay.  Do not, under any circumstances, apply to all of them because that many applications could affect your credit and ruin your chances at being able to get a loan and then buy the home.  Look for the best rates, and then apply to one financial institution only.  You will have to have a down payment, ranging from ten to twenty percent, which means you may need to have twelve to twenty-four thousand pounds on hand.  Start saving this deposit as soon as you can - it's the very first step in house buying as you can't usually get a mortgage offer without first having a deposit.