Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer in St. Louis or a seasoned real estate investor who has purchased homes everywhere from St. Louis City to Chesterfield, Florissant to Arnold, and everywhere in between, buying a home is an exciting process. However, there’s also a lot to consider when you decide to buy a home in St. Louis. So before you begin your search for the perfect property, here are four questions you should ask yourself.
What do I want in St. Louis?
Take the time to figure out what type of property you want to buy. You should consider if you want to live in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, or a surrounding county such as St. Charles or Jefferson County. To make this decision you need to look at the drive time to your current job, as well as the drive time to locations you like to visit. Your list may not be the same as another buyer. You may want to live near a highway for easy access, while another buyer would like to be more secluded. This list is personal. You will want to look at neighborhoods in St. Louis and evaluate the surrounding services.
After deciding where to focus your search, you will want to look at the type of home. St. Louis offers housing varying from single-family and multi-family homes to condos and co-ops. There are many different options on the market and it’s important to choose the type that best fits your needs.
What can I afford in St. Louis?
The general rule of thumb is that you should never spend more than 30% of your monthly income on a mortgage payment. An alternate rule states that you can afford to buy a property that runs about two-and-a-half times your annual salary. For a more tailored look at what you can afford, use an online mortgage calculator to see what your monthly mortgage payments would be if you bought a home today. More specifically, you should consider how much you want to spend each month. Take a look at your current spending habits. How much do you spend on dining out, coffee, entertainment. Do you plan to maintain those spending habits? You may want to buy under what you can afford so that you can continue to spend on other lifestyle choices. Or you may want to stretch your budget, knowing that additional income is likely coming in a specific amount of time.
Am I financially prepared to own a home in St. Louis?
A few months before you start searching for a home, review your credit history and make sure it is in good standing. Get copies of your credit report, ensure that it’s accurate, and fix any issues you discover. It’s likely that you’ll also want to get pre-approved for a home loan, which will put you in a better position to make a serious offer once you find the right property. Pre-approval from a lender is based on your credit history, debt, and income.
How do I make the best bid possible?
Meyer Group will do our research for you! We want your opening bid to be based on the sales trends of similar homes in the area. So before making your opening bid, we will review the selling prices of comparable properties. If these properties sold for less than the current asking price of the home you’re looking at, you can feel comfortable make a bid that’s slightly lower than what the seller is asking.