Realty411 Magazine Featuring Eric Counts, Credit Nerds - Page 58

7 Personal Finance Questions to Ask Yourself Before Getting a Mortgage Dr. Teresa R. Martin, Esq. Are you ready for a mortgage? It’s a big step that requires careful planning. A mortgage will affect your financial future for years to come. Before you sign that mortgage, consider these finance questions: 1. What is your credit score? Credit scores affect mortgage rates. • Before buying a house, check your credit score. Should you raise your score to get a better interest rate? In general, high scores with no late payments during the last three years are enough to get good rates. 2. Are you capable of handling maintenance costs? It’s important to consider the cost of maintenance before buying a house. • The mortgage is only one part of the total cost of owning a house. Maintenance is another important piece. Will you be able to pay for a new roof or air conditioning system when the current ones wear out? • Does your monthly budget include enough savings for maintenance? • It’s also important to consider DIY projects and hiring "A mortgage is a responsibility that affects multiple areas of your financial life. Before you buy a house, consider how your current financial situation will be affected and plan for emergencies." others to complete tasks. House maintenance can involve expensive and ongoing projects. Are you ready to pay for these costs? 3. How secure is your job? Before signing a loan, evaluate your job security. Will the work last? How will you handle changes? • Evaluating your job future is part of planning for a home purchase. • Consider emergency funds and savings in your plan. If your job situation changes, will you be able to continue making monthly mortgage payments? 58