The start-to-finish guide to buying a home

White picket fence

White picket fenceIt’s no secret that I love the website Lifehacker. There are all sorts of great tips and advice over there. A while ago, I came across this article (, and wanted to share its top points.

  1. Determine what you can truly afford. Don’t just look at the mortgage payment; you will also have taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance. If you can’t afford it all with a buffer and some room to live, you’re over your head.
  2. Pick the right type of mortgage. Closed or open? Fixed or variable? Portable, blendable, assumable? These are all relevant questions that you should ask your mortgage professional to ensure that you are getting the right product.
  3. Pick what is a need and what is a want. Yes, it would be nice to have marble countertops, a fireplace, and a pool, but do you need them? This will help you to pare down to your essentials and ensure that you don’t go looking at houses outside of your budget.
  4. Get your insurance set up. You will want to talk to an insurance agent well before your closing date so that you know what is out there and have it set up ahead of time. You can’t buy without it if you’re getting a mortgage, and you don’t want to have the stress of trying to get it set up at the last minute.

There will be lots of new listings coming in January. Happy househunting!