Amalgamated Bank

Mortgage Money Sense Tips

Home ownership is more than just buying a house! 
It is also a:

  • Long-term financial responsibility
  • Maintenance responsibility
  • Community responsibility

Buying a home is typically the largest investment you will make in your life!

Some advantages of homeownership are:

  • Pride of ownership
  • You build up equity over the long-term
  • Mortgage interest may be tax deductible!
  • A home is an asset that can be passed on to your family members!

Some disadvantages of homeownership are:

  • A mortgage is typically a 30-year commitment rather than a 1-year lease
  • Maintenance and repair expenses – you can’t call the landlord to mow lawn, fix leak, or replace water heater
  • You are responsible for paying property tax and insurance
  • Many homes lack common amenities such as pool, park, playground, and a gym

Questions to ask yourself when considering whether or not you are ready to buy a home:

  •  Do I have a steady source of income?
  • Have I had consistent employment for the last 2 to 3 years?
  • Do I have a positive credit history?
  • Do I have a good record of paying bills?
  • Will I be able to pay my bills and other debts?
  • Do I have the ability to make the mortgage payment every month, AND handle additional costs for taxes, insurance, maintenance, and repairs?
  • Do I have money saved for a down payment and closing costs?

Recommended considerations:

  • Evaluate possible repairs/immediate improvements. Ask the seller to work on repairing them or to incorporate it into your bidding
  • Hire an expert to do your own home inspections as well as attend them if possible
  • Know all of the vital systems that connect to the house (electrical, sewage, heating, air conditioning, garbage disposal, and water)
  • Examine potential neighborhoods with a 24 hour perspective. Are there any dogs howling at 3AM? Again be sure there are no surprises
  • Do multiple practice commutes. One day is not enough time to judge future years of commuting to work
  • Purchase an environmental report
  • Be certain that your furniture, electronics, and appliances will fit into your new home
  • Know the local political landscape. Are there any issues about which you should know? Make sure you understand how utilities, schools, and public services are funded
  • Perform an energy audit. Confirm that your budget will match what your new home is going to cost on a monthly basis
  • Research the local area to understand its economics, climate, and variables that will be part of your long-term lifestyle



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