Purchasing your dream house cannot take place without planning. Spending some time to prepare and also, doing your homework by looking in the right places and asking the right questions not only makes this process less stressful for you, but also makes the ownership of your house more pleasurable.

Getting Organized

You need to get a note book and a few pens. You should have a few file folders that will help you organize your bills and documents related to the loan applications. Having a telephone directory or access to a laptop or a computer will help a lot. After each call, write down the phone number, the contact name and also a short comment about the conversation you just had, in the note book.

Homeownership versus Rent

For a few people renting a house is a better option than getting one of their own. The best way to find this out is to compare the costs that should be borne by you in each case.

Under the ownership column, you should include the mortgage payments, taxes and insurance. The next item in the same column is utilities which include cable costs, telephone, waste disposal, water, electricity, oil and gas.

Co-op Fees and Condominiums

Some of the 1st time buyers would like to go for a co-operative unit or a condominium since the maintenance and utility costs are part of the Homeowner’s association fees. Under the ownership column these fees’ must be included and all the utilities might not be covered under that fee. Contact many homeowners’ associations and find out which utility fees’ are included in the HOA fee.

Mortgage Credit Certificate

You will get a federal tax credit under the “Mortgage Credit Certificate Program” for the interest you pay on the mortgage. Almost all the states take part in this program. This credit will increase the owner’s take home component and make up for the costs of maintaining and owning his home. Contact your county and state housing departments, employer departments and area realtor for more information about this program.

Maintenance Costs

Maintenance costs include many items ranging from roof repair to lawnmowers. Leaky faucets has to be repaired, windows caulked, maintain heating systems, mow the lawns and prune the trees. Put all these costs under the homeownership column.

“Home Improvement Grants”

Several counties and states provide home improvement and repair grants to owners. You should own the house to avail these grants. Having a good knowledge about the uses of the grant, property types and the eligible areas will prove useful after you purchase your house.

Intangible Costs

Repairs, maintenance, utilities and mortgage payments are a few of the tangible cost. There are several intangible costs which should be included in another list. Find them out and include them under the ownership column. These costs can be found by asking a few questions like:

Why am I buying this house?

Can I maintain the house?

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