The New York Times recently featured a useful article on home-buying.
The article stated that as home values are on the rise and interest rates are still relatively low, many potential home-buyers may be tempted to stretch their mortgage as far as possible, believing that the situation presents an investment opportunity that likely won't be around for long.
However, the article warned that many factors need to be taken into consideration before pulling the trigger on a maxed-out mortgage, especially for first-time home buyers. Here are a few of the concerns that were raised:
Look at how much you are currently able to save. If you aren't able to put much into savings with your current rent costs, it's unlikely that you will be able to afford a mortgage payment that is much higher than your rent.
Interest rates are expected to rise, but probably not by that much. For that reason, you may be better off on taking the time to save more for a bigger down payment instead of taking out a larger loan at a slightly lower interest rate.
Most financial experts advise not to buy a home at the top of your budget.That's because mortgage lenders don't take into account other expenses that pile on such as heating costs or general upkeep.
The more expensive the property, the greater the maintenance costs. A larger home will have higher utility bills, property taxes and insurance costs, plus you may feel more pressure to spend money on yard maintenance and other "extras."
Make sure the mortgage would still be affordable if changes occur. According to NeighborWorks, 64 percent of Americans facing foreclosure ended up there because of a job loss or salary reduction.
These are all good points to consider before purchasing a home, especially if it is your first. Additionally, it may be wise to meet with a real estate lawyer who has experience withresidential purchases for legal guidance.