Buying your first home is both an exciting and daunting task. Unlike buying a car, there are a lot more research and steps needed to complete such a transaction. Here are 5 tips to help give you guidance on the whole home-buying experience!
Tip 1: Google It!
Google is a simple yet powerful tool to research just about anything. When it comes to buying a home, using Google Maps, Google Earth, and researching information on prospect cities, there’s no better place to turn to than Google.
For a more focused area search, there are great websites out there as well that specialize on homes for sales such as Zillow, Trulia, Red Fin, Realtor.com, and the like. Chances are, these websites pull information from Google as well.
Tip 2: Get Prequalified and Preapproved
How much can you afford? In many cases, rent can cost just as much as a mortgage. If you determine you can afford your rent or a little more, then you are set to speak to a mortgage banker. In most scenarios, a mortgage bank can prequalify you over a simple conversation. They will ask information regarding your financial status such as income and savings. With some basic information, the mortgage banker can determine a price range of affordability. In order to get preapproved, the mortgage banker will need financial documents such as income taxes, W2s, banking statements so they can verify your information.
When preapproved, take great care of your credit by limiting activity that might adversely affect it such as large expenses on credit.
Tip 3: Find the Real Estate Agent That’s Right for You
There are thousands of real estate agents out there. Finding the “right one” is never easy. Some might default over to trusted and established brands, however, it’s the independent brokerages that can offer better, more personalized services. The best place to start is to ask homeowners you may know if they recommend their real estate agent.
If you’re trailblazing for those around you, then the search for an agent will be a little longer. At least you’re at right place! Contact me today to consult about market trends, prices, interest rates, and whether its a good time to buy.
Tip 4: Property Search
Your real estate agent has a powerful tool exclusive to licensed brokers and agents. That does not mean you cannot search for homes yourself. The shortlist in Tip 1 contain great sites to view properties with filters that can be tailored to prices you can afford, areas you like, and features you need. Though the information on these sites are not often current, they at least provide better direction to your agent.
Tip 5: Make An Offer and Close the Deal
When shopping around for houses, take notes of details you like or not like. When finding the right home, do not just rely on your own observations of the condition and aesthetics. Your agent will recommend hiring a certified home inspector to thoroughly inspect the house from top to bottom and provide a report of their findings.
Work closely with your lender providing them the necessary documents or responses to inquiries in a timely manner. There are a lot of wheels turning in a transaction. Your agent will help coordinate with escrow the required documents, inspections, contingencies, and continued negotiations.
Once all the loan contingencies and negotiated conditions are met, the loan is funded, title recorded, and the keys exchanged!
That’s the long and short of the home-buying process! And since you’re here, you’re on the right path towards becoming a homeowner!