The Essential Checklist for Buying a Home
The purchase of a home is not something that typically happens on a whim. Long before you get to the stage of placing an offer, there are several things that you will need to do to prepare. Here is a list of the essentials as you get yourself ready.
Your credit score
Even if this is your second or third property, before you do anything you will want to make sure your credit is currently solid. Making sure that your credit score is good is very important as it will dictate your ability to get financing for the new home. There are services nowadays online that allow you to check your credit or you can typically check it directly with one of the major credit bureaus. Alternatively, when you contact a mortgage lender, they will pull your report.
Fix credit if necessary
If your credit is less than perfect, fixing issues immediately is always best. Sometimes there is bad information or mistakes on your report so check to be sure there is no erroneous info on yours.
Estimate what you can afford
Get an idea about what you can afford to see what you can actually buy. There are online calculators for mortgages that help give you an idea of your payment. Don’t forget to be sure you are including insurance, taxes, association fees or PMI if you are putting less than 20% down.
Consult a mortgage broker
To get the best concept on what you can afford, consult with a reputable mortgage lender. A lender will pull your credit, check available interest rates, mortgage products and consider your income and finances to provide you with how much you can afford for your new home.
Your mortgage lender will tell you what you can afford and they will also provide you with a pre-approval letter. This is an essential thing to have when submitting your offer as it will show sellers that you are serious and financially prepared to make the purchase of their home.
To avoid paying PMI and get better rates, putting down 20% is ideal. However, because on most homes that is a substantial dollar figure, there are other options for putting down less. Regardless, saving your money is important as there are always other moving expenses and incidentals to account for.
Work with an experienced real estate agent
A local, professional real estate agent will be your best source for finding a home that suits your needs. As an experienced, full time agent who has experience in the local market, they will provide you with information on local active listings as well as advise when it comes time to make an offer. You will work together on visiting properties in various locations and help you craft negotiations to buy your perfect home.
If you have any questions about the buying process, please feel free to contact me. I am happy to assist you.