Check Your Credit – Your credit is crucial when applying for a loan; the better your score, the lower your interest rates will be. Be sure to check all three major credit reporting companies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion as the information in each report may vary slightly. Make sure you make copies of your credit report as well, and check your score well in advance of applying for loans.
Find a Lender – Most people need to take out a loan when buying a home, and you’ll want to be prepared to make an offer when you find that perfect property. It’s important to be sure that you’re approved by your lender before making that offer because you want to be sure you can afford it. Lenders can do a quick prequalification based on the basic information provided in the application, but this can change once all the verification is completed, thus a preapproval is better, but a prequalification can get you started looking. Ask your lender for a preapproval or prequalification letter as many sellers and their agents require it before submitting your offer. Once you have been approved, don’t purchase anything on credit or change jobs as these may terminate your loan process.
Price Range – Using your lender’s approval information, calculate what your realistic monthly home payment is. You may know that there will be some additional expenses coming, like medical, or dental, new vehicle replacement, having more children, etc. You may need to add these anticipated expenses against your income. This way you can better stay within your budget. Once you know your price range, I can help you make an offer on a property that best meets your needs.
Research – Finding the right home can be time consuming, but it’s important to consider everything before you decide. What’s the commute like to work? If you have kids, what are the schools like in the area? How many bedrooms and bathrooms will you need? Do you prefer a newer or older styled home? I listen closely and ask questions to determine your needs and what you plan for your family. I am dedicated to helping you through the entire home buying process. Once we find your home, I prepare the written offer. With my experience and knowledge of the area, I can help you arrive at an offer best fitting your budget and has a chance of being accepted.
Once Your Offer is Accepted – Once we have an Executed Contract, you will have a short window, called the Option Period, to have your new home professionally inspected and request repairs or make a counter offer if the situation arises. The inspection is an upfront expenditure that is not refundable or count against your closing expenses. Your other upfront expenses are your Earnest Money, generally one-percent of the purchase price, and the Option Free, both of which can be negotiated. Both of these costs apply against your closing expenses. Together we work with your lender to ensure a timely closing and all contract conditions are met. I’m here to assist you with any questions or concerns during the process.
Moving Time! – When the Option Period is over and you know you will be moving, it’s time to start packing. Once all contractual conditions are met, the lender’s underwriters requirements are met, and there is a clear title to the property, it’s time to be thinking of moving. Whether you plan to move yourself or hire a professional mover it’s time to make those arrangements and don’t forget to fill out your change of address forms and inform your utility company of your move.