BUYING A HOME
Buying your first home is considered one of the biggest and most exhilarating milestones in life- It can also be one of the most stressful. A long-time financial future is a lot to think about. But, with the right information, you can find your dream home, apply for a mortgage, and close a deal with the upmost confidence. We have broken this process down into 5 specific steps:
FIND A REALTOR
You are about to make the biggest purchase in your lifetime so it's in your best interest to have an experienced professional in your corner. There is no cost to a buyer to be represented by a realtor. I recommend keeping two things in mind when selecting a realtor - 1. experience and 2. someone that you have a good connection with. The best fit for you will go a long way and help simplify a complex process.
The next big decision before getting started with showings is selecting a good mortgage lender in your corner. I cannot stress enough the importance of choosing the best local lender for you. Choosing a local lender will serve as an experienced guide in the home buying process and your offer will appear stronger to the seller. Rely on your realtor and family/friends for recommending the best local lender options. A lender will help you to obtain a pre-approval letter and you will want to secure a pre-approval letter prior to viewing homes. The pre-approval letter sets the stage for your home search as it indicates the type of loan you are approved for and your budget. Once you obtained the pre-approval letter then you can sit down with your realtor to select the specifications for your home search.
Now down to the big day – you want to make an offer.
It's important to iron out a game plan with your realtor for how to proceed with your offer. Many buyers are not sitting on a large amount of cash so buyers choose to roll a percentage of their closing costs into their mortgage which is referred to as - seller's assist. Have a conversation with your mortgage lender and realtor to decide how to proceed with incorporating seller's assist into your offer. Seller's assist can help keep cash reserves in your bank account and allow you to either make updates to the home or act as a safety net if an unforeseen home repair occurs once you become a homeowner.
So your offer was accepted - Congratulations!
Now is the time to go through the 'meat and potatoes' of buying a home. The process from this point until officially becoming a homeowner on average will take 45-60 days. The three main segments of the process will be -- 1. home inspection, 2. appraisal and 3. title work. No need to panic if this is your first time. The experience of your realtor will now serve front and center stage. My advice is to take a deep breathe ask a lot of questions and take it one step at a time.
Closing day and becoming a homeowner is in your sights. A few tips to keep in mind. Do not make any big purchases (car, appliances, furniture etc.) on a credit card or loan prior to closing. With closing date in sight you don't want any major changes to your credit score to occur that will prevent you from actually closing on the home. Lean on your realtor for any guidance to get you to the finish line.