It’s undoubtedly one of the biggest decisions in a person’s life – buying a house. But how do you know if you’re ready? Or if it’s even a good move, given the fact you most likely have a contract that’s only two or three years?
Reece Van Haaften is the former Sports Director at WSAW-TV in Wausau. He and his wife recently moved to Knoxville, Tennessee to continue his broadcast career at WATE-TV. He spent three years in Wausau and during that time bought and sold a house.
He said he started out renting in Wausau.
“We stayed in an apartment for three months while searching for a house, which my wife, Jess, did a tremendous job at. Unfortunately, it cost us more for doing month-to-month in an apartment, but it paid off in the long run,” he said.
Buying a home in Wausau was their first home purchase.
He says here are the pros: You have an opportunity to make a good investment, you get a place to call your own, and not have to deal with an apartment neighbor. Plus, you’ll save money if you have pets since apartments charge extra for them.
And the cons: You have to have liquid cash available for any maintenance, so that can restrict you. If you plan to move, you could lose out on equity. And of course, yard maintenance.
He said anyone thinking about owning a home should do their research about homeowner’s insurance.
“Jess and I wish we knew more about home insurance because our roof collapsed. It caused us to figure out what our insurance covered really quickly.”
He said when they went to sell their home they profited 44 percent. However, what they didn’t realize was that seller pays the commission to the realtor when the home sells. Typically, about 5-7 percent on the overall sale of the home.
“It helps that housing market is on fire currently. We also renovated our entire upstairs after the roof collapsed, so we did put some money into the house. Unfortunately, the flip side is we aren’t expecting to make as much money in our next house because we’re buying while the housing market is hot.”
If you think you’re ready to buy a home the first step is visiting a bank to get pre-approved. This process involved income and employment verification. You’ll tell the bank what price range of home you are interested in. Then if you’re approved, you’ll receive information about loan options and interest rates. Once you find your home, this information will be finalized.