Alicia Rauckhort, a realtor with Twin Oaks Realty in Akron, presented a workshop on Buying a House for over 20 interested people at the International Institute of Akron. She talked about what people need to know (1) before they buy a house, (2) as they purchase a house, and (3) after they own a house.
Before you buy a house.
Alicia described the advantages of buying and renting, whether to buy directly from an owner or to go through a realtor, how to assess your house needs in terms of size and location, how to figure out how much you can afford to borrow (your income times 3), and how much your monthly payment will be (approximately 1% of the loan amount).
As you buy a house.
She said it takes 15 to 30 years to pay off a loan, and that you need to decide whether you want to live close to your work, close to schools, close to public transportation, or close to family. You should look at a potential house carefully and hire your own inspector to look it over for you. You should also compare loan costs from several different banks.
After you own a house.
Things like property taxes, utilities (water, electricity, gas, sewer, and garbage), maintenance (plumbing, wiring, insulation, roofs), yard upkeep, and homeowner's insurance are NOT part of your monthly loan payment. You must be prepared to pay those additional expenses in addition to your loan payment.
Selected activities of BCAA members are chronicled in this blog by Terry Kuhn.