Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Preparing to Buy a Home

Despite what we see in TV ads, there are things to do to prepare for buying a home. You can't just waltz in and declare "I'll take it!" 

Here's a checklist of some of the things you need to do to get ready to buy a home.

Check your credit score
Please do not start browsing homes until you have checked your credit score. This is what mortgage lenders will look at to determine whether you are “creditworthy." The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate. Get a free copy of yours at Credit Karma, Annual Credit Report or some credit card companies provide free credit scores.

Shop for a mortgage lender
A prospective home buyer will need to qualify for a mortgage and confirm how much of a mortgage they can afford,” Different mortgage lenders offer a wide variety of rates and programs, so find the best rate and mortgage option for you.

Secure mortgage pre-approval
Once you've found the mortgage that's right for you, you'll want to show sellers that you have what it takes to buy their home. A pre-approval is required for a seller to take your offer seriously and to assure the seller that you’re both willing and able.

Save up for a down payment
To get the best rates, you'll need to make at least a 20% down payment on a home. That's a lot of money! But if that amount is out of reach, don't worry—most people put down less.
No Changes
“Do not switch jobs. Do not buy a new car. Do not buy furniture or apply for a new credit card. 
Find a real estate agent
There's no reason to go it alone.  Professional help can make the whole process much easier.

Make a realistic list
You need to be realistic about what are truly “wishes" and what are "non-negotiables" —such as the number of bedrooms, a fenced yard for a pet, a specific school district, etc.

Browse listings
Search by price, number of bedrooms, location, and other variables to start narrowing down your options. Forward any properties that you find interesting to your Realtor so that they can look further into them and schedule showings for you. Viewing online listings is one thing; seeing the properties in person is quite another. While you’re in each home, take photos and make notes so they don’t all run together in your mind.

The Neighborhood
You’re not just buying the property you’re looking at; you’re also buying into the whole neighborhood. That’s why you have to be certain that it has the vibe you want. The best way to find out more about a community is to talk to neighbors, and to visit the neighborhood in the evening when families are home.

Call, text or email
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