We Buy & Sell Homes & Properties

1. How do I know if I’m ready to buy a home?
You can find out by asking yourself some questions:

  • ƒ Do I have a steady source of income (usually a job)? Have I been employed on a regular basis for the last 2-3 years? Is my current income reliable?
  • ƒ Do I have a good record of paying my bills?
  • ƒ Do I have few or no outstanding long-term debts, like car payments?
  • ƒ Do I have money saved for a down payment?
  • ƒ Do I have the ability to pay a mortgage plus additional costs every month?
  • If you answer to these questions is “yes”, you are probably ready to buy your own home.

2. How do I begin the process of buying a home?
Start by thinking about your situation. Why do you want to buy a home? How much can
you afford in a monthly mortgage payment (see Question 4 for help)? How much space do
you need? What areas of the town do you like? After you answer these questions, make a
“To Do” list and start doing casual research. Talk to friends and family, drive through
neighborhoods, search for new listings on search engines (Yahoo and Google), and look
in the “Homes” or “Real Estate” section of the newspaper.

3. How does purchasing a home compare with renting?
The two don’t really compare at all. One advantage of renting is being generally free of
most maintenance responsibilities. But by renting, you lose the chance to build equity; take
advantage of tax benefits; and protect yourself against rent increases. Also, you may not
be free to decorate or remodel without permission and may be at the mercy of the

Owning a home has many benefits. When you make a mortgage payment, you are
building equity. And that’s an investment! Owning a home also qualifies you for tax breaks
that assist you in dealing with your new financial responsibilities: like insurance, real estate
taxes and upkeep, which can be substantial. But given the freedom, stability, and security
of owning your own home, the new responsibilities are worth it.

4. How does the lender decide the maximum loan amount that you can afford?
The lender considers your debt-to-income ratio, which is a comparison of your gross (pretax) income to housing and non-housing expenses. Non-housing expenses include such
long-term debts as car or student loan payments, alimony, or child support. According to
the FHA, monthly mortgage payments should be no more than 29% of gross income, while
the mortgage payment, combined with non-housing expenses, should total no more than
41% of income. When determining your maximum loan amount, the lender also considers
cash available for down payment and closing costs, credit history etc.

5. How do I select the right real estate agent?

Start by asking family and friends if they can recommend an agent. Compile a list of
several agents and talk to each before choosing one. Look for an agent who listens well
and understands your needs, and whose judgment you trust. The ideal agent knows the
local area well and has resources and contacts to help you in your search. Overall, you
want to choose an agent who makes you feel comfortable and can provide all the
knowledge and services you need.

6. How can I determine my housing needs before I begin the search?
Your home should fit the way you live: with spaces and features that appeal to the whole
family. Before you begin looking at homes, make a list of your priorities: things like location
and size. Should the house be close to local schools, your job, or public transportation?
How large should the house be? What type of lot do you prefer? What kinds of amenities
are you looking for? Establish a set of “minimum requirements” and a ‘wish list.” “Minimum
requirements” are things that a house must have for you to consider it, while a “wish list”
covers things that you’d like to have but aren’t essential.

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    "We Love the home you helped us purchase" Barbara Smith
    "So happy you help us get a single family home. The Kids Love it!" Michael Brown
    "My wife & I are delighted for Aritus Properties. You made our dream of home ownerhsip come thru!" Frank Smith
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