A home is one of the biggest financial investment you’ll make in your life. So before you get started looking at homes and imagining yourself in them, do some homework. Use this Buyer’s Guide as a primer to help you as you hunt that home of your dreams.
1. Determine How Much You Can Afford
How much house you can afford is largely dependent on how large a mortgage (home loan) you can handle. Our website offers a mortgage calculator that will help you! However, there are other factors that maybe considered as part of the monthly payment. Give me a call so that we can set up a consultation to go over what it entails to purchase a home and get an estimate of loan amount and monthly payment you can afford based on your income & liability without running your credit. We can also refer you to a loan officer that we have been working over the years.
We highly recommend that you become pre-approved for a mortgage before you even start house hunting. This will tell you exactly how much you can afford and will make the closing process go faster. Getting pre-approved also makes you much more attractive to potential sellers because they know they won't have wait days or even weeks before you and they will know if you'll get the OK for a home loan..
In addition, purchasing a home involves more than just making sure you have enough money to pay the mortgage and property tax. You'll also have to be sure you have enough money on hand for what are known as closing costs.
Closing costs could include:
· Earnest money, usually 1 to 3 persent of the price of the house, which you pay as a deposit on the house when you submit your offer. It’s your proof that you’re a serious buyer. you may be able to get this money back should you decide not to purchase the house, but you must make this decision within about two weeks of paying the earnest money
If you decide to go forward with the purchase, the Earnest Money Deposit will be part of your downpayment & closing costs. Your down payment depends on what type of loan you are applying and approved for, which you must pay at closing. Understand that in today's tighter credit market, more mortgage brokers are requires additional and extensive supporting documents on a case to case basis.
· Mortgage insurance. If you can't make a down payment of at least 20 percent, mortgage lenders charge you extra insurance. This is also known as private mortgage insurance, or PMI.
· Closing costs, differs from the type of loan you are applying for. Make sure to get an estimated closing costs from your lender.
In addition, as you research whether you can afford to purchase a home, don't forget to include the day-to-day expenses you'll incur. This includes.
· Homeowner association dues, if applicable
· Property taxes
2. Shop for a Home
House hunting can be both exciting and frustrating. To make your search easier and faster, browse properties on my website to give you the most accurate status information. You can do so on my real estate home page. Clickon the "Search For Homes" link and you will have access to the same data as Realtors in the area where you wish to purchase a home. Other real estate websites do not provide up-to-date data and lag behind my site.
The Internet is a quick way to see whether the houses that are currently available meet the following critical criteria: are they in the right location, with the right features and at the right price.
If you find after your search on my website that few properties meet your needs, you may want to readjust your criteria – change the location, features, price – to increase your chances of finding a house that works for you. If you have any difficulties in this initial search, feel free to contact me for assistance. Homes can become available instantly and I'm always the most current resource for up-to-the minute information on new home listings.
I can set up an auto-search that you automatically received through your email as soon as a property that meets your criteria is submitted in the Multiple Listing Services.
Once you find the homes you are interested to view, call me to set up showings with the sellers. Sellers showing requirements could by appointment only either with the seller, tenant or with the listing agent.
3. Find a Real Estate Professional and a Consultant...That's were I come in...
Using a Real Estate Consultant is very important specially for first time home buyers. A consultant is what makes a difference not just a Real Estate agent that has access to a network of contacts but someone who provides guidance to your best interest and can draw from extensive market knowledge to help pinpoint the right house for you.
A Consultant also can help you structure your deal to save money, negotiate the sales and over see the transaction details, explain the advantages and disadvantages of different types of mortgages and guide you through the process and will always be there for you when you need advice even after the transaction is complete.
4. Research Different Mortgages
There are variety of mortgage types available today, each with advantages and disadvantages depending on how long you plan to live in the home, the financial marketplace and your income potential, among other things.
An adjustable-rate mortgage usually starts out at lower interest rates and lower monthly payments than fixed-rate mortgages, but your rate and monthly payments may rise and fall based on a financial index.
There are also several government mortgage programs available, including FHA mortgages, which are designed to help people who might not have enough money for down payment which is also called assistant down payment programs.
It’s best to talk to me about your best mortgage option. I may refer you to a mortgage broker that is trust worthy who can discuss current market financing packages based on your financial situation.
5. Make an Offer
There are serveral factors involved when making an offer. When you’ve found a house you really need to have your own representation and consultant to guide you in the right direction and to your best interest.
6. Begin Contingency Period
When your offer has been accepted, the contingency period begins. This is time that allows you to obtain financing, perform inspections and satisfy any other contingencies of your purchase agreement.
Obtaining financing might include loan approval, which will include an appraisal of the property. Also be prepared to make your down payment, which is usually due several days before the close of escrow.
Now is the time to schedule a professional inspection of the property; it is one of the best safeguards you can take before buying. A home inspector should check (and may give you a rough price for repairs on) the electrical system, plumbing and waste disposal, the water heater, insulation and ventilation, water source and quality, pests, foundation, doors, windows, ceilings, walls, floors and roof.
Keep in mind that the inspector isn’t there to tell you whether you’re getting a good deal. He or she is there to give you an educated opinion on whether the house is structurally and mechanically sound and fill you in on any repairs that are needed.
7. Buy Homeowner’s Insurance
A paid homeowner’s insurance policy is required at closing. I will help make sure your insurance company and your title officer are working together to put your policy in effect by the close of escrow. But, if you get your insurance agent involved early in your home-buying process, he or she also may help point out ways to help keep your insurance premiums lower.
8. Complete Settlement or Closing
When the property you’re buying has been inspected and you’ve had your final walk-through of the property to see that all contingency conditions – such as final repairs made by the seller -- have been met, it’s time to face the paperwork. You will be signing loan documents and closing papers, paying the balance of your down payment and closing costs. This is the day you get the keys to your new home. Congratulations!
9. It's time to Celebrate!
We at Triad have added a complementary co/hosting for house warming/blessing. We can discuss details as you approach your move-in date.
Traditionally, once a transaction closes that's the end of relationship . However, I view it as it is just the beginning!