1. Decide to buy.
Although there are many good reasons for you to buy a home, wealth building ranks among the top of the list. There are solid financial reasons to support your decision to buy a home, and, among these, equity buildup, value appreciation, and tax benefits stand out.
Base your decision to buy on facts, not fears.
- If you are paying rent, you very likely can afford to buy
- The lack of a substantial down payment doesn't prevent you from making your first home purchase
- A less-than-perfect credit score won't necessarily stop you from buying a home
- Buying a home doesn't have to be complicated - there are many professionals who will help you along the way
2. Select your agent.
The typical real estate transaction involves several individuals whose actions and decisions have to be orchestrated in order to perform in harmony and get a home sale closed. It is the responsibility of your real estate agent to expertly coordinate all the professionals involved in your home purchase and to act as the advocate for you and your interests throughout.
Many first time homebuyers are unaware that we are able to show you any home for sale no matter which company lists the property. And as a buyer, you do not pay for our services. We will also ask other agents about their upcoming listings that match your criteria so that maybe we can find you a home before it even hits the market.
Below are the seven main roles of your real estate agent:
- Educates you about your market.
- Analyzes your wants and needs.
- Introduces you to homes that fit your criteria.
- Coordinates the work of other needed professionals.
- Negotiates on your behalf.
- Checks and double-checks paperwork and ensures compliance with deadlines.
- Solves any problems that may arise.
3. Secure financing.
If you aren’t paying cash, you will need to obtain financing. The six steps to financing a home are:
- Choose a loan officer (we can recommend trusted loan officers to you).
- Fill out a loan application and obtain your mortgage pre-approval.
- Determine the amount you want to spend on a home and select the best loan option.
- Submit your accepted purchase contract to the lender.
- Get an appraisal and title commitment.
- Obtain funding at closing.
4. Find and select your home.
Looking for your home begins with carefully assessing your values, wants, and needs, both for the short and long terms. A buyer’s consultation will make certain that we are all on the same page as to what you desire in your next home.
5. Make an offer
When you're writing an offer, you need to approach this process with a cool head and a realistic perspective of your market to ensure successful negotiations.
Unlike most major purchases, once you buy a home, you can't return it if something breaks or doesn't quite work like it's supposed to. That's why property inspections are so important. The property inspection should expose the hidden issues a home might be hiding, so you know exactly what you're getting into before you sign your closing papers.
7. Final walkthrough
Before closing, we will return to the property for one final look over to make sure there have been no significant changes to the property since the offer was written and that any agreed upon repairs were completed.
Closing involves signing legal documents that will finalize your mortgage, pay the seller and transfer ownership of the property to you. This should be a momentous conclusion to your home searching process and commencement of your home owning experience.
Your lender decides what you can borrow but you decide what you can afford.
Lenders are careful, but they make qualification decisions based on averages and formulas. They won't understand the nuances of your lifestyle and spending patterns quite as well as you do. So, leave a little room for the unexpected - for all the new opportunities your home will give you to spend money, from furnishings, to landscaping, to repairs.
Historically, banks use a ratio called 28/36 to decide how much borrowers could borrow. An approved housing payment couldn't be more than 28 percent of the buyer's gross monthly income, and his or her total debt load, including car payments, student loans, and credit card payments, couldn't be more than 36 percent. As home prices have risen, some lenders have responded by stretching these ratios to as high as 50 percent. No matter how expensive your market though, we urge you to think carefully before stretching your budget quite so much.
Deciding how much you can afford should involve some careful attention to how your financial profile will change in the upcoming years. In the long run, your own peace of mind and security will matter most.
When searching for your next home, it is important to be aware of EVERY home that is available to you on the market, not just the homes that are listed in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). To help you in your home search, we have provided the below links to help you locate local for sale by owner (FSBO) properties that are advertised online. We can also help you with for sale by owner properties as well, as the seller is usually willing to work with a buyer's agent and pay the commission.
If you happen to see a home on any of the websites below that you wish to view in person, it is important that you contact us first before calling the owner directly. We want to make sure that you are well represented and have the best competitive advantage before we begin your home search.