Buying a home can be daunting—but exciting—for many physicians and medical residents. Whether you’re just starting out or have been practicing for years, owning your own home can be one of your most rewarding investments. As a doctor, you may have unique needs when finding and purchasing the right property—from financing to scheduling appointments around work commitments. Read on as we share the top 5 things doctors need to know about buying a home.
1. Location, Location, Location
The old adage is true: location is everything. When choosing your home, consider the usual factors such as the quality of the schools in the area, walkability, and crime rate—and don’t forget to include the commute to your hospital or office. This will make it easier to get to work and respond to any emergencies that may come up.
2. The Importance of a Good Realtor
Another important thing for doctors to remember when buying a home is choosing the right realtor. A good realtor will be familiar with the area and able to negotiate using the built-in advantages of your profession, such as your income trajectory and general creditworthiness. A good realtor will help you understand the mortgage process and potentially secure a lender that specializes in working with doctors.
Before beginning the homebuying process, doctors should get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage. This will give them an idea of how much they can afford to spend on a new home and will help to narrow down their search. Additionally, they should find lenders that specialize in working with doctors and may even offer products tailored to your financial needs, such as physician mortgage loans. These loans typically have more favorable terms than traditional mortgage loans, such as lower down payment requirements and higher borrowing limits.
4. Home Inspection
A home inspection by a licensed professional will reveal any problems with the property that could cost money down the road. Additionally, completing a home inspection before making an offer will give doctors some negotiating power if there are any issues with the property.
5. Additional Costs
Beyond the mortgage, there are additional expenses to consider when buying a home. One is property taxes, which are typically based on the value of the house and, depending on where you live, can be quite high. Other fees that can be significant—especially for those at the start of their careers—are closing costs. These costs often include appraisal fees, loan origination fees, and title insurance. Closing costs are typically around 2–5% of the home’s purchase price. It’s important to factor these additional payments into your budget.