I think it’s safe to say that we all share one common dream: the American dream. The idea of one day owning a home or two or five is common amongst most everyone. But for those who have yet to take that step or those who haven’t done so in a while, I’d like to provide you with some helpful tips.
Here are some things you need to be mindful of before getting started:
- Your credit score. Be on your best behavior and clean up your credit score.
- The down payment. Regardless of what loan program you qualify for, you’ll need to save for a down payment of some kind.
- Your purchasing power. You need to figure out what you can afford to buy, and the only way to do that is to speak to your preferred lender.
- Find the right Realtor. Despite some people’s opinion, finding a knowledgeable, experienced and trustworthy Realtor to work with will make all the difference in the world when purchasing a home.
- Reality. Be honest with yourself.
Say you’re credit has improved, you’ve saved some money for a downpayment, and you’ve spoken to your lender and obtained that “pre-qualification” letter everyone talks about. Your next step is to contact me! And since you’re anxious to get started, I’ll share some additional tips that will help us find the right home:
- Pick the right house. Finding the perfect place may seem like a daunting task, but chatting with me will help tremendously! Also, know that it’s important to see beyond other’s decor.
- Perfect the art of the offer. There are many ways to sweeten a deal, but make sure you’re honest with yourself as to how far you’re willing to go. I’ll be there every step of the way to make sure you think things through and to offer what is fair.
- Nail the appraisal process. It’s important to remember that appraisers are unbiased, and their reports are meant to help! Lucky for you, I used to review these (as a banker) and still do…and I know how they can help.
- Ace the inspection. Hiring a good inspector is worth its weight in gold. Remember that their job is to find something – anything. In other words, there’s no need to fear! And if something is terribly wrong, then you should be happy to know while there’s still time to back out.
- Enjoy the ride. Some say buying a home is much like a roller coast ride. I say they’re not far off. But if you’re going to ride, might as well enjoy it (especially knowing you have the right representation to safeguard you.)
So you’re now “ready, willing and able” to pursue the American Dream. Here are some final words before we get started:
- Landing that loan. Having your loan approved requires your cooperation. Banks are far more careful about lending money these days. You should be careful not to bite more than you are comfortably willing to chew.
- Some closing costs can be negotiated. Closings costs can add up. Make sure you ask your lender about their fees up front; don’t be afraid to ask about any incentives or fees you can negotiate.
- There’s a final walkthrough. Don’t worry. You’ll have a chance to see the house again before it’s yours. This is the time we get to take one final tour to make sure the house is in the exact same condition as when you first fell in love with it.
- It isn’t over until it’s over. Contrary to what some may think, anything can happen. So, don’t rush to bring out the bubbly.
- Get your move on. Moving can be stressful, so I encourage you to plan ahead. I will also make sure to remind you of some of those things you might forget…