Save, Save, Save
If there’s one thing you need to buy a home, it’s money. Well, and the other is good credit but we will get to that in a minute. Buying a home is expensive and to get prepared here are some steps to take.
- Make sure your have your emergency fund put back and not use it for a down payment.
- Speaking of down payment, depending upon the type of loan you are getting you will cash on hand. Ask your Lender now what type of loan you qualify for and start saving up.
- And then there are closing costs and that could total up to 5% of the purchase price.
Unless you have cash to purchase a home this is a very important step. Ask friends and family if they know a mortgage lender that they would recommend. Interview a few lenders to see how they will work with you. This person is going to be your new best friend for 4 – 6 weeks during the loan process so pick someone you gel with.
Get your credit score pulled, have a mortgage professional review the information, and make sure there are no surprises. If there are problems with your credit report your lender can tell you ways you can begin to repair your credit. Better to know now then after you have found your dream home.
Ask the lender what types of documents they will need to secure the loan for you and start compiling the documents will help make the loan process less stressful.
Always keep your banking statements in a safe place so you can easily access them. Also, don’t forget any asset account statements such as 401K, stocks or bonds. Go ahead and pull out your W2s or 1099s because that is a must have.
Finally get that pre-approval letter. You cannot put an offer in on a home without it. If you do have cash your Realtor will want proof of funds (those banking statements).
Make a Wish List For Your New Home
Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you will make in a lifetime more than likely. So start now and make a list of what you want in a home. Is there a special school zone? How many bedrooms and bathrooms does your family need? Listed below are some suggestions to help you make your wish list into a real home.
Location, location, location – Location will drive the price of the home in most cases. So if you must live in a certain part of town or school district make sure you know what homes cost in the area so you can budget for it.
Make a list of features – Hardwood floors, granite countertops, big back yard, quiet street, master suite, bonus room… Show your Realtor what you like online and that will assist them in being able to select a home for you. While your Realtor is showing you homes make sure you share with them what you like and do not. This will make your home shopping much easier.
Interview Buyer Agents
Like your Mortgage Broker your Realtor will be a valuable resource while you are search for a home and guiding you through the home inspection process. So choose someone with experience, has LOCAL knowledge of the area you wish to purchase a home in, works full time and has a communication style you are comfortable with. A good Realtor can save you thousands of dollars in pricing negotiations and countless hours of paperwork. In most cases, the home seller pays your agent’s commission, so you get all that expert help for free!