A quick overview to the homebuying process
Hire me as your real estate professional. Communicate your wants and needs to me and let me start looking for the right home to meet your needs. Yes, you can look at homes on sites such as Realtor.com and Zillow.com; but, I have access to homes as soon as they come on the market and even some that are yet available to the public. I also network with other professionals to be on the lookout for you. I might hear about the perfect home before it hits the market, giving you – my client – the advantage.
Check and Repair Your Credit
If you haven't already been approved by a lender, you need to make certain your credit is in order. If you find a ding or an error on your credit report, take care of it immediately. Dispute an inaccurate item on the report by contacting the consumer reporting company and the information provider in writing.
Don't Inadvertently Raise Your Credit Scores
Lenders look at more than how much credit you use. They also take into consideration how much credit you have available (debt-to-income ratio). Now is not the time to be opening any new accounts or closing any accounts. Don't purchase furniture or a new car or any big ticket item before buying a home.
Get Loan Pre-Approval
Don't start house hunting without knowing how much home you can buy. In order to determine how much you can buy, you must apply for a loan. In doing so, you will have to share information concerning income, work history, debts and other personal information with the lender. A preapproval letter will open doors with sellers because it demonstrates that you are serious and prepared to buy. I work with many local lenders so call me to start that process.
Don't Expect Perfection
Have realistic expectations about the home you may purchase. If you're shopping for an older home, expect to do some cosmetic work. Ignore the wallpaper and carpet color, and instead, take a good look at the bones of the house. Does the floorplan work for you? Is it spacious enough? Does it have the amenities you want? Can you fix what doesn't work reasonably? Most cosmetic changes are relatively inexpensive. In some case, you can even pay for the cost of remodeling with your mortgage loan. It is important that your communicate remodeling possibilities this with your lender.
Think Long-Term Investment
Buying a home can be a wise financial investment, if you buy right and hold your home for long-term gain. Because of closing and moving cost, it is nearly impossible to buy a home and sell it immediately for a large gain. However, it is possible to sell the home after a few years with no capital gains tax and ideally make a profit. Look at your home as a home, rather than part of your portfolio. Home is where you'll collect your happiest memories, and that can be the best investment you ever make.