Are You Ready to Buy?
Buying a home is considered one of the most complicated and stressful financial transactions a consumer will ever make.
One of the keys to making the home buying process easier and more understandable is planning. In doing so, you'll be able to anticipate requests from lenders, lawyers and a host of other professionals. Furthermore, planning will help you discover valuable shortcuts in the home buying process.
Do You Know What You Want?
Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or entering the marketplace as a repeat buyer, you need to examine your motivation for buying a new home. Are you planning to move to a new community due to a lifestyle change? Are you looking to downsize? What would you like in terms of real estate that you don’t have now? Do you have a purchasing timeframe? Is buying an option and not a requirement?
Whatever your answers, the more you know about the real estate marketplace, the more likely you are to effectively define your goals. As an interesting exercise, it can be worthwhile to look at the questions above and to then discuss them in detail when meeting with local REALTORS®.
Are You Ready Financially?
Homes and financing are closely intertwined. In addition to a down payment, purchasers also need cash for closing costs (the final costs associated with closing the loan). At times, it may be possible to negotiate an offer for a home that requires the owner to pay some or all of your settlement expenses. There are also variety of loan programs available with flexible down payments and fees.
In order to qualify for the best loans for your needs, you need to have good credit. For at least one year prior to purchasing a home, you should assure that a local REALTOR® can provide you with more details on the financing process. Also, by putting a REALTOR’S® expertise to work for you, you can help ensure that your home search goes smoothly and successfully.
Prior to starting your home search, obtain a prequalification letter from a bank that clearly states what you can afford. This will show buyers that you are serious and prepared and allows you to target your search only on properties that you can feasibly purchase.