Agent

Put real estate purchase to 10-year test

New variables make long-term strategy a safer bet

An important factor that is often overlooked and can seriously affect the affordability of homeownership is home maintenance.When you buy a home, you're not just agreeing to take on the responsibility of repaying your mortgage lender (principal and interest), property taxes and homeowners insurance (PITI), you will also have ongoing maintenance expenses that need to be budgeted for in advance. Include an inspection contingency in your purchase contract and never forgo an inspection of a property you're considering buying. Find out as much as you can about the property upfront and how much it will cost to make repairs.If you unexpectedly have to replace the roof in the first year of ownership and haven't set aside money for this, or negotiated a concession from the seller, you could find yourself in a financial bind. Before you even look for a home to buy, or decide if you're going to buy, find out if you can afford to buy a home in a location where you'd want to live. Talk ...

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