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What to Know Before Buying a House in Washington County

What to Know Before Buying a House in Washington County

February 13, 2019 by DANIEL FARR 0

It’s the American dream: buy a house. Anyone who doesn’t know what they’re doing or isn’t sufficiently prepared will be overwhelmed. So here are some things to know and remember as you’re going about buying a home in Washington County, UT.

Some factors that set Washington County apart from just about anywhere else in the nation:

  1. St. George is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. right now. Lots of people (particularly retired couples) from California and other parts of the west coast where the cost of living is higher are looking to buy a house to St. George, Washington, UT, and surrounding areas because of the climate and the cost of living is significantly lower, so their dollars are worth more. Experts say it’s like a “little California.”
  2. Where you look to buy a house in St. George or other parts of Washington County will differ significantly. Housing closer to the St. George Utah Temple or Dixie State University or north of Exit 10 next to the golf courses or on a mountain will cost more than housing in Santa Clara, Hurricane or Bloomington.

Have awesome credit before you go in. The better your credit, the more money you’ll end up not having to spend later when you buy a house. That’s money you could put towards emergency savings, a travel fund, etc. And get pre-approved if you can so you’re aware of what your limits are for overall spending.

Take as much time as you need while you’re shopping for mortgages. Usually, credit unions will provide lower rates since they’re non-profits, so that’s where I would go first, like Mountain America Credit Union. I personally know some people at Cache Valley Bank though who will treat you well. First-time buyers get a sort of discount on mortgages at most financial institutions in America. If possible, go for a fixed-rate loan. Dave Ramsey has suggested going for a 15-year mortgage instead of 30-year mortgage because you’ll spend a lot less in the long-run and pay it off sooner.

You’ll want to have at least 20% capital for the down payment for the house you’re buying. I have heard that in 2018 the median for a down payment was 13%, and for first-time home buyers the median was 7% (National Association for Realtors, bankrate.com). I personally suggest saving up at least 20% in order to avoid bursting another housing bubble like in 2008. Good things come to those who wait.

Build your team. You can’t buy a home all by yourself, so you will need an agent and a lender and the good news is that you will find the best agents and lenders at Stucki Farms.

Location, location, location! A factor to consider when looking to buy a house involves how close your house is to work or family. Stucki Farms in Washington, UT, for example, is a local, planned community intended to keep families close together by providing a variety of houses to buy, so it’s the perfect place to buy a house to fit any budget! In fact, this year at the Parade of Homes, you’ll have an opportunity to check out different venues to buy a house.

Last piece of advice: buy a house under your budget. As the old adage goes: “He who dies with the most toys is still dead.” In other words, just because you have $450,000 available to buy a house doesn’t mean that you have to do that in order to get what you need. Focus more on what you need rather than what you want. Remember that you’ll have to calculate and plan for taxes, monthly mortgage payments, utility bills, any fixing up that needs to occur (if that’s in your contract), etc.

So whether it’s your first time buying or if you’re experienced and just adding to your portfolio, happy house hunting!

Sources

https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/how-much-is-a-down-payment-on-a-house/

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