A guide for those who want to buy a home soon.

New year, new home! We’re starting 2024 ready for what's to come, planning to achieve new goals. One of these may be buying a property. And, although sometimes the goal feels more like a dream, it is 100% possible.

Here are 5 tips to make your process easier:

1. Define the home you want for the future, not the one you want now.

Apartment or house? Big or small? Yard or tiles? These are some of the questions you must ask yourself when looking for the home of your dreams while visualizing yourself in 5, 10, or 15 years. 

Consider the lifestyle you want to lead and your long-term goals. Today, you may love the idea of having an apartment. But if you are planning a wedding, children, and a playful puppy in 5 years, you may prefer a house. 

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you can make in life. That's why it's important to think about the big picture.

Popular x Platea Tip: Remember that your savings, credit, and income are important when qualifying for a property purchase. 

2. Choose the best location for your home.

Like the previous tip, focus on both the long-term dream and your individual priorities. 

Some considerations may be:

  • Do I want to be close to my family? 
  • Will I get stuck in traffic to go to work? 
  • Is my career limited to a specific area, or can I work anywhere? 
  • Do I want a quieter or busier place? 
  • If I have children, are there schools nearby? 
  • Are there hospitals nearby? 

Also, keep in mind that the location can affect the price of the property and the type of mortgage loan.

Want to know which mortgage loan1 you pre-qualify for? It’s easy, fill out the Popular Mortgage form and a specialist will help you start the process. Also, take advantage of this free calculator to evaluate the different interest rates and calculate your monthly payment. The route to your dreams: popularMortgage.com.

3. List all the costs of buying a house.

Down payment

Once you have an ideal home and location, you can estimate the property’s price and prepare for it. 

Let's look at the most common costs when buying a house.

The down payment, or initial payment, is the first payment you make when buying a house and is calculated based on the total price of the property. Subject to the type of mortgage loan and the terms, the down payment may vary or not be required.

Closing costs

Closing costs include appraisal, title search, and related fees, among others. To cover all these, it is suggested to save between 3% and 6% of the house's price. 

Moving costs

If you have friends with pick-up trucks, give them a call to save this expense. Add to the budget the transfer of water and electricity services to your name and any other fees that you have to incur to live in your new home.

Repairs and remodeling

If you choose a house that needs repairs, ask for all the estimates to cover the materials and labor.

4. Create a financial plan that works for you.

Being one of the most significant purchases one can make - if not the biggest -you must prepare by having a budget, lowering your debts, and saving.

Your debts

It’s recommended that your debts don’t exceed 30% of your income. Also, make all payments on time and, if possible, get rid of the debts.

Your debts affect your credit score and, consequently, the terms of your mortgage. If you want a loan of a higher amount at a low-interest rate, you must keep your debts at bay.

Your savings

Even if you qualify for the benefits available to buy your home, there will always be expenses. You should save for these and for two months of mortgage payment.

Consider opening a savings account, such as U-Save2, to keep that money separate.

Your budget

Besides mortgage expenses, you should include in your budget the costs of maintaining the house. Some of these costs may include: water, electricity, internet, access control systems, yard maintenance, and condo fees. 

You must also consider possible unexpected events, such as a career change or a medical procedure. Life sometimes brings surprises, and our financial plan must include different budgets to withstand these situations. 

Popular x Platea Tip: Use the interactive budget sheet to visualize your budget before and after buying a house.

5. Finally, take time and consider your options.

No rule determines when it is the right time to buy a house, especially when it is an important decision.

Keep getting informed, and look for incentives. When the time comes, you will be able to buy the house you really want and live the life you dream of in it.

When you are ready to take the step, visit popularMortgage.com