Why Buy With Us?
Do you dream of owning your own home? When buying your first home, it can be a very exciting, yet a little scary experience. However, employing the services of a trusted Realtor trained to guide and accompany you through the home buying process. You will be more relaxed, comfortable, as well as protected, during this lengthy process. Let’s have some fun.
Setting a Budget
Before the home search process begins, it is important to know how much you can afford. Expenses to consider include the down payment, monthly expenses, property taxes and any home insurance costs. These will all have to be considered before the home buying process begins as they are typically included in your new monthly payment. Since a person’s credit score determines their interest rate, knowing your score ahead of time can help you decide if now is a good time to buy or not. An individual’s debt-to-income ratio must also fall within acceptable limits of the home’s cost. Once you have determined these things, and if you feel that your budget has enough room to afford a new home, then its time to contact a mortgage banker to determine how much they will approve for lending. That amount will tell you what price house to look for.
When looking for a loan, be sure to get more than one loan quote to get the best interest rate and loan terms for your mortgage. Different banks and companies will offer different loan origination fees and by shopping around you can often times save yourself a lot of money. Be sure to also check your loan officers website for testimonials and information. A good loan officer will offer you many online resources and tools. Before you lock your rate, be sure to check the daily rate with the rate your loan officer gives you to ensure you are getting the lowest rate possible. Interest rates will determine how much a mortgage will cost each month and come in fixed or adjustable terms. Mortgage lengths can range from 15 years to 30 years with some loan providers now offering 40 year mortgages as well. The longer the repayment term, the lower the payments will be. However, the interest accrued will also be higher on a longer loan. Below are a few sites and resources that will help you to find the best loan possible.
Finding Both a Realtor and a Home
Once you have been pre-approved for a mortgage and you know what amount your bank has approved you for, it’s time to find your dream home. First, find a Realtor. Not just any Realtor will do. Make sure you select a Realtor that asks the right questions about your future goals, lifestyle needs and home plans. You should feel comfortable with the chemistry and knowledge of the agent to help you through this important decision making process. It’s more than just a house you are looking for…it’s a lifestyle. Then, you can detail the search strategy and criteria that are important to you. Your Realtor will use that information to find that special house for you, quickly. Remember, the first home you visit might be beautiful, but you should visit several homes, research the neighborhoods with amenities, access to schools and work before making a final decision. Your Realtor will be happy to give you lots of that info.
Making an Offer
There is an art to making an offer on a home. Before making an offer relay on your Realtor to conduct a Comparative Market Analysis or CMA. This report will tell you the market price of homes in the area like the one you are interested in. The report will also tell you the range of what that type house will appraise for and that is very important for qualifying it for your loan amount. Everything reasonable is negotiable in a contract, but remember it must be a win-win for both parties. Your Realtor will be watching for signs of problems in the home and will make suggestions to you regarding the offer. Listen to them closely as this is their business and they do it every day. The average buyer only buys a home once every 7 years or so. An experienced Realtor will be able to help you negotiate a lower price that sometimes includes concessions or closing costs. Their job is to protect you in the contract. Don’t forget to include your Loan pre-approval letter and a check for the earnest money deposit. Don’t worry…it will be deducted at closing.
Getting a home inspection is a vital part of the home buying process. These inspections ensure that the home’s foundation, ceiling, heating, electrical system, walls, plumbing and roof are up to certain standards. It is extremely important to protect yourself by getting a home inspection, typically, 10 days from an accepted offer and stated as part of the contract as a performance date. Many buyers have been saved from disaster by conducting a home inspection, by a certified professional, only to find out the house has major problems allowing them to back out of the contract or ask for concessions and repairs to be performed before it is too late. Again, everything is negotiable before closing.
Not to be confused with a Home Protection Policy that can be offered as an incentive by the Seller to protect appliances and such during the first year of purchase. Lenders normally require that you insure your home structure. Home Insurance Policies cover the costs to fix any damages that might occur to the home. The price of this insurance is dependent on a home’s age, location and value and the insurance company you choose. Be sure to call around and get several quotes. Once you choose a company to insure your new home, the cost of that policy is normally added into your closing costs and sent into an escrow account to be paid to the insurance company directly the first year.
Escrow and Closing Costs
Before the home is legally transferred to you, the closing process must occur. During this phase, your Closing Company, that you wrote into your Sales and Purchase Agreement, will send you and your Realtor a “HUD” stating all the fees, loan pay-offs, insurances, commissions and costs for review. This document should come 3 days before your stated closing date to allow for any adjustments and corrections to made. You will also be sent wiring instruction for transfer of funds that is done the day of the closing. Now you are sitting at the closing table ready to sign all of the mortgage documents, pay closing costs, and sign various other legal documents. Once all of the papers are signed, the keys to your new home are yours! The only thing left to do is move into your humble abode. This may occur immediately after the closing or at the date set in the closing documents. Time to celebrate!