Whether it’s your first home or your 10th, looking for a new home can be very exciting. That excitement, though, can lead to frustration if you’re not prepared for the “process” of a real estate transaction. Before you think about buying a home, there are a few tips you should know that will help the process go smoother and quicker.
GET PRE-APPROVED BEFORE YOU START LOOKING FOR A HOME. WHY?
Most homebuyers will need a mortgage to buy a home. In order to get a mortgage, you must be ‘pre-approved’. The pre-approval process makes sure that your debt to income ratio is balanced enough to afford to pay off your loan. The process typically takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 72 hours and many times homebuyers are beaten to the punch by other homebuyers because they were not pre-approved before making an offer on a home. In this hot market, time is of the element.
YOU CAN SHOP AROUND FOR LENDERS AND YOU SHOULD.
Before settling on the first lender you come across, go ahead and meet with a few others. You actually have a 15 day period after meeting with a lender where your credit will not be affected. Every lender charges a different fee, so don’t just settle for the first you meet. Find what works best for you! Here are 6 steps to finding a good lender.
ALL HOMES, EVEN NEW CONSTRUCTION WILL HAVE ISSUES ON INSPECTION.
Now this one is important. When buying a home, new or old, there will be issues. No house is perfect and deciding not to buy a house solely because of the inspection report is unreasonable. Most problems are small and easy to fix. Foundation problems like leaky roofs, flooding, uneven floors, mold, and cracking are what to watch out for. Most other problems found during an inspection are fixable and not a reason to be scared. Check out these FHA Repair Requirements.
BE PREPARED FOR YOUR LENDER
The market is fast and competitive, so be sure to get all the necessary information to your lender in a timely fashion. Reply immediately when being asked to show tax returns, pay stubs, qualifying documents, etc. Here’s a list of paperwork you’ll need.
BE RESPONSIVE AND COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR REALTOR®
Realtors aren’t your golden ticket to a new home. They act more as a legal representative for the buyer. So they will need plenty of information and decisions to be made by you, the buyer. Some decisions require quick action so always be available to chat with your agent. Replying to their text, calls, emails, etc ASAP is the best way to ensure you get the house you want. And remember, the agent is on your side, to get you the best deal financially with as little pain as possible.
So, go ahead and get that pre-approval, research the lenders in the area, and locate all of those pesky documents because your dream home could be waiting for you right around the corner.