The Essential Guide to Buying your First Home in Moline

Ready to take the big step of becoming a new homeowner in Moline? In this guide, we’ll share everything you need to know about buying your first home and how it works specifically in Illinois. Part of The Quad Cities region on the Illinois/Iowa border, Moline is known for its agriculture and John Deere headquarters. Residents enjoy the Mississippi Valley setting, slower pace of life, and friendly neighbors.

Time to embark on the exciting journey to homeownership! We’ll walk you through it step by step with friendly and personal service. Keep reading or contact a SENB mortgage lender with questions.

How Much House Can You Afford?

This is one of the first questions prospective homeowners ask. One way to get an answer is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage loan, a document your real estate agent may ask for anyway before working with you. However, you may not want to borrow up to the maximum of what your lender is willing to offer you. Take these factors into account to keep your monthly mortgage payment fitting comfortably within your budget:

  • Household Income: What is the total take-home (after tax) income of your household? Experts recommend spending no more than 25% of your monthly income on your mortgage payment. For example, if your household brings home $3,000/month, you’d want a mortgage payment of $750/month or less. Use our mortgage calculator to play around with different purchase prices to get the monthly payment you’re looking for.
  • Monthly Debt Payments: How much of your money is already promised to a credit card and/or car or student loan payment? You may want to take your total debt payments into account when calculating how much of your monthly income to devote to a mortgage payment.
  • Savings: Aim to have at least three months of mortgage payments in your emergency savings in case of the unexpected.
  • Taxes and Insurance: Keep in mind that property taxes and homeowner’s insurance will be added to your monthly mortgage loan payment, along with private mortgage insurance if applicable.
  • Down Payment: To avoid that private mortgage insurance fee, you’ll need to put 20% down (unless applying for a VA loan). However, lower down payment loan options do exist, such as FHA loans.

As you can see, there are a variety of calculations to make in terms of your ideal home price range. Just remember the most important thing is ending up with a mortgage payment you can comfortably afford month after month.

What is the cost of home ownership in Moline?

The median income in Moline, IL is $50,209 and the median home price is $105,000. Overall, Moline’s cost of living is 22% lower than the national average. 

To get specific monthly cost of living estimates for your household size, check out the Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator. For example, in the Davenport/Moline/Rock Island metro area, the EPI estimates a $778 housing cost, $886 for taxes, and $596 for “other necessities.”

Additional home expenses to budget for include:

  • Gutter cleaning: You can do this yourself, but if you hire a pro you can expect to pay about $100 or more depending on the size of your home.
  • Chimney cleaning: If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you should have the chimney professionally cleaned once a year. The national average cost of a chimney cleaning is $251.
  • Furnace tune-up: Get ready for colder weather by having your furnace inspected and cleaned by a professional. The average cost is $140.
  • Big ticket repairs: From a new roof or furnace to replacing an old hot water heater or removing a dead tree, it’s a good idea to save for these big repairs that you can’t always anticipate.
  • Landscaping: Includes the purchase of plants, flowers, and shrubs, as well as any maintenance you need to hire out.
  • Renovations: Unless you buy a brand new house, there are probably features you’d like to upgrade at some point. Start saving now!
  • Utilities: Depending on the size of your new home vs. your old one, you may see a change in the cost of your utilities. Moving to a larger space may require more energy for air conditioning, multiple bathrooms may increase your water bill, etc.

Create a Budget you can live with

Ultimately, deciding how much house you can afford is about creating a budget that feels comfortable and leaves room for the unexpected. You don’t want to end up “house poor” with most of your monthly income going to house-related expenses and little left for kids activities, vacation, etc. Only you can decide what that means, so take the time now to review your current budget and consider any impacts of a higher monthly housing cost.

Apply for a mortgage loan from SENB Bank!

Voted the Best in Bank in the Quad Cities for 2020, SENB Bank is Smart. Easy Notably Better.  We are big enough to meet your needs and small enough to know you matter. Choose a mortgage lender with local offices and a friendly team who will work with you side by side from start to finish. To start the mortgage application process, call our Lending Line at (309) 736-BANK, email one of our lenders, visit one of our banking centers, or apply online today!

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