Buying a property can be a daunting task but if you consider a few tips before making any decision, it will save your time as well money, and your investment will be secure. After having decided to buy a property, the first thing you need to do is define your limits. Work out how much you can afford, and then stick to the limit. Do not let the real estate agents tempt you with a more spacious or beautiful looking house, which exceeds your budget.

The first step when working out what you can afford for housing is to consider your total income. This will give you an idea of how much money you currently have to spend each month. Then make a list of your household’s fixed monthly expenses, which will include the bills you pay every month for heating, air conditioning, water etc.

You also need to include other periodic expenses like car insurance payments. Make a list of other expenses and note down which of them are necessary and unavoidable (like utility bills), which are necessary and flexible (cell phone and grocery bills etc) and which are completely optional (like extra shopping and eating out).

Figure out the expenses that will add to your budget after you become a homeowner. These expenses will vary depending upon what type of house you want to purchase and can be hard to accurately estimate. However, some of the expenses that every home owner has to bear include water, trash and home maintenance.

Think of the expenses that will go away after buying the property. For example if you are currently paying renters’ insurance, you will be exempted of that after buying your own home. If you are contemplating cutting back on certain optional expenses, like extravagant shopping, or going out to eat for fun, note them down as well. If you are planning to buy a property near your workplace, your transport fare or fuel expenditure will also go down.

Now subtract your monthly expenditures from what you take home every month to determine how much you can save every month to spend on housing. Once you know what you save each month, evaluate different mortgage quotes to find out the purchase price you can afford against different interest rates.

Finding your dream home can tempt you into making hasty decisions, but you need to consider that buying a house is a long-term investment and not one you can afford to be careless with.

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