Buying a Home

Purchasing a home is one of the most exciting - and difficult - transactions most people face. After all, it is the single most expensive item you'll probably every buy. Commonwealth Credit Union wants to help make the experience an enjoyable one for you by helping you answer three important questions: How much home can you afford? How will you get financing? How will you find your dream home?

Figure Out What You Can Afford

Before you start house shopping, you’ll want to have a good idea of the price range you can afford. A good way to do that is by using an online calculator . Many people make the mistake of overextending themselves on their mortgage—keep in mind this will be a monthly expense for you for years to come, so consider whether you’ll be able—and want—to pay for a home that’s barely affordable for you now. You’ll also want to take into account extra expenses that often go along with purchasing a home:

  • Repair - especially with older or “fixer-upper” homes.
  • Redecorating/new furniture to fill additional rooms.
  • Closing costs and attorney fees.

There will also be additional monthly costs like homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, and mortgage insurance (if necessary)—these will need to be factored into your new monthly budget plus HOA fees in some cases.

Get Financing

Once you’ve determined how much you’re able and willing to spend on your new home, the next step is getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Getting pre-approved will speed up the buying process, and ensure that you won’t put an offer on a home that you can’t ultimately afford. The amount of your mortgage will depend on what percentage of the total price you choose to pay as a down payment. Most people choose to put 20% down, but you can certainly adjust that up or down as your current finances demand. The best way to figure out the perfect balance for you and your budget is talking to a Commonwealth Credit Union Home Mortgage Loan Representative.

Find Your Dream Home

Now that you have your financing in line, it’s time to find the perfect home! First you’ll want to find the right neighborhood(s) for you and your family. You can research schools, crime rate, and neighborhood demographics right from your computer.

For More Information

Be sure to check out our free online Home Buying Coach!