U.S.

September 6, 2013

Know home-buying basics before becoming owner

Tags:
Senior Airman GRACE LEE
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Home-buying-cartoon
There comes a time when one may want to look at purchasing instead of renting a home and if done smartly, the advantages of owning a home can be greater than renting.

“Given a long enough time line, a good home can be an appreciating asset,” said Cory Carmichael, 56th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center community readiness consultant. “It also offers freedoms for which renters miss out. Other benefits include tax deductions, equity and stability.”

A good way to know if it’s realistic to begin the home buying process is if one is planning to stay in a particular area for five or more years, Carmichael said.

Once it is decided that buying a home is the best option, one should look into getting a realtor to assist in the process.

“I always recommend a first time homebuyer interview three or more realtors, then select one to help navigate the process,” Carmichael said. “Remember, the realtor will be paid by the seller and is trained to offer advice.”

He also recommends doing research online to compare prices and to make sure one is not overpaying.

There are several websites to access that show the value of a particular home as well as a comparison to similar homes in the area, said Vickie Muniz, 56th FSS A&FRC accredited financial counselor. Some sites to research include Maricopa County Assessor’s Office, for those buying homes in Maricopa County. Other helpful websites include Zillow.com, Realtor.com and more.

“Think, ‘location, location, location,’” Muniz said. “Where you buy is very important. Consider more than the geography – what city your home is located in, for instance. Instead think about location in the neighborhood. Is it on a corner lot? Or is the backyard facing a busy street? Many things factor into a home’s resale value.”

Another important step prior to purchasing a home is becoming qualified for a home loan.

After the recent real estate crisis, banks have learned that not everyone is able to pay back a home loan, Carmichael said. Banks are looking for someone who keeps their credit score high, shows financial responsibility and practices spending discipline.

“Since we have little control over the rates, although they have recently hit historical lows, shop around for the small variations offered by lenders,” Carmichael said. “While many qualify for a Veterans Affairs loan and Federal Housing Administration loans, I still prefer the 15-year conventional with a 20 percent or more down payment. I tell people to avoid private mortgage insurance, funding fees and also spend less over the long-term for their biggest asset.”

Furthermore, one should make sure the prospective house fits into their budget. Most financial institutions and financial websites provide calculators to help determine limits.

“Just because one qualifies for a $400,000 mortgage does not mean that should be the quest,” Carmichael said. “Avoid joining millions of people that become ‘house poor’ because they spend a large proportion of their total income on their home. Consider there will be other home expenses such as electricity, insurance, water and more to see if you can afford it all. Take steps now to improve your financial fitness.”

For more information on home buying or other financial needs, call the A&FRC at 623-856-6550. In addition to having trained financial counselors, they have free publications, guides, classes and other resources to answer all questions concerning finance. The A&FRC also provides one-on-one appointments.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Lightning II debrief …

Staff Sgt. Staci Miller Senior Airman Roger Combs, 61st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, downloads information from an F-35 Lightning II engine at Luke Air Force Base. Since 2010, more than 1,800 maintainers have been trained on the F-35. The first production F-35A rolled out of assembly in February 2006 in Fort Worth, Texas. Later...
 
 
Courtesy graphic

Commons provides ‘crib’ for Airmen

Courtesy graphic The Community Commons concept design. Renovation has begun and will be completed in May 2016. The Luke Air Force Base Community Center, Bldg. 700, where the 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Wellness Center resi...
 
 

How do you stack up?

With upcoming changes to the enlisted performance report and Air Force promotion system, it’s important to understand how you stack up against your peers, not only within your job, but within your unit as well. The days of receiving time in grade and time in service points are numbered. They are being replaced with a...
 

 

CCAF offers jump on education

The Community College of the Air Force was established in 1972 to recognize academic achievements for technical training by Air Force schools. It awards an associate in applied science degree to enlisted members of the active-duty Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command who have completed the course work. Degree programs are...
 
 
Johnny Saldivar

Roberson takes command of AETC

Johnny Saldivar Lt. Gen Darryl Roberson, Air Education and Training Command commander, speaks during the AETC change of command ceremony Tuesday at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. Roberson is a command pilot who has mor...
 
 
4_150710-F-NQ441-5x7-036

Salutes and Awards

FWSA announce awards The following individuals are quarterly awards winners: 56th Fighter Wing Staff Agencies Airman: Senior Airman Leanne Mathews NCO: Staff Sgt. Natalie Nelson Senior NCO: Master Sgt. Deanna Commack Company gr...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>