• Determine what you can afford:  When you are looking for a home to buy one of the best rules of thumb is to consider a home that is only two to three times your annual household income.  This allows you to stay within a comfortable range with your house payment, insurance and household bills.  If your lifestyle is one in which you like to travel or spend a bit more money on other toys consider this as well.  Don’t strap yourself into a house payment that does not allow you to continue enjoying the activities you desire.
  • Find a mortgage broker or lender to work with and get pre-approved: In order to really start looking for the home of your dreams you must find a mortgage broker or lender to work with.  They will help guide you through the entire process from cleaning up your credit, preapproval, mortgage terms and the final mortgage application process.
  • Figure out what mortgage is right for you: How long is it practical for you to pay on a home loan.  There are different mortgage terms for different needs.  Some people choose a less expensive home because to them having a home paid off in fifteen years is ideal.  Others prefer a smaller payment so they spread theirs out thirty years.  Also consider a fixed or variable rate depending on how confident you are with mortgage interest rates.
  • Consider a financial dry run:  Before you actually decide to purchase a home do financial dry runs.  Take what is equivalent to the amount of your new payment, insurance and utilities and sock it away in a savings account.  Be sure you can do this for at least six months without dipping into it to ensure you can swing the extra payments. 
  • Decide must haves verse what would be nice to have:  You may not be able to find everything your dreams desire in one house.  Make a list of the items you can’t live without, the deal breakers verse this feature it would be nice to have. 
  • Find a real estate agent and start house hunting: Finding a reputable, local real estate agent that specializes in the type of home you are looking for will help in your search to find the perfect home.  If you are looking for recreational living find a real estate agent that specializes in waterfront property, homes on golf courses or homes for sale near recreational adventures. 
  • Put in an offer, review your contract, and sign the papers: The final step in stress free home buying is to put in an offer, have it accepted, review the contract, sign the papers and move in.  With the right real estate agent and mortgage broker or lender working with you the process of buying a new home should be as simple as the steps listed above. 

Lady of the Lakes Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor; out of Pinckney, Michigan helping buyers buy and sellers sell homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Brighton, Howell, Pinckney and the surrounding area.  More information can be found at http://www.ladyofthelakes.com.