This post is sponsored by Northwest bank. All opinions are my own. Northwest Bank is Member FDIC.
When we found out we were expecting our second baby we started thinking about buying our own house. We’ve rented for so many years since I graduated from university 6 years ago. We lived in tiny outdated flats just for two of us in the center of Moscow, we upgraded to apartments in Moscow suburbs when we had our first baby and now we are renting a small townhouse with 2 bedrooms. It might be enough for a family of four, especially while Nicole is a newborn and sleeps in our bedroom, and two girls can still share a room when they get older. But when my mom and brother came to visit I realized we might have enough space for the four of us, but we don’t have a lot of room when the family is visiting.
We had never owned a house and we knew anything about the process of buying one. We had to make some research, my husband was educating himself on mortgage rates and different bank offers and I was talking to my friends and family about their experience.
There are so many things to consider while buying a house, I came up with some tips you need to keep in mind:
Choosing your ideal location. Nice neighborhoods with good schools and low crime levels. My perfect location would be in walking distance from a park or a beach, in driving distance from a supermarket and kids activities and close to my husband’s office. Though we do have an ideal location in mind we keep our minds open and are willing to consider other areas if the houses are more affordable there.
Estimate your payments. Review how much you are spending every month and that will help you understand how much you can allocate to your mortgage payment. When you own a house you’ll have to pay property tax – that is usually included in your monthly payments. But also count other expenses that aren’t included – utilities, for example. If you are buying a place bigger than the apartments you rent you’ll have to pay more for electricity, gas, etc. Are you going to spend more time (and money) on a longer commute? Count these expenses too.
3. While reviewing your budget consider keeping emergency savings account with three to six months of living expense. Also keep in mind that you’ll probably need to invest in relocation, new appliances, etc.
4. Good timing. That’s not only about your personal circumstances that make you want to own your place but also economic conditions in the country. My husband loves statistics and he was checking the charts to see the changes in average mortgage rates over the past years and they are the lowest this year. From this point of view now is really a good time for buying your own house.
5. Hire a real estate agent. As a buyer you don’t have to pay anything – the seller pays the commission. But you’ll have a team of people on your side that will help you to choose the right place for your family and who can offer suggestions about home inspectors, insurance agents, etc.
6. Find the bank that has the best mortgage loan offers. We’ve been with Northwest bank for years, it’s very well-known and trusted here in Pennsylvania. There are mortgage load options to fit everyone – from the first time home buyer, to building your dream home, to downsizing.
Northwest Bank offers competitive rates and low fees. It is such a great option when comparing to other choices. They have dedicated customer advocates that care about your convenience. They will come to your home or to your favorite cafe to discuss the business. No need to get the kids into the car, they can play right at home while you take care of your future.
Northwest Bank advocates will guide you through the entire process, staying accessible, communicating often and helping you understand what’s happening every step of the way.
We trust Northwest Bank with our future!
Purchasing our first home is probably the biggest financial decision our family will ever make. If you are going to buy a house soon – best of luck to you! And best of luck to us too 🙂 We can’t wait to create memories in our new home and we would definitely trust Northwest Bank in making our dream come true!