BY: RAHMAN COLSON
FROM: REALTY TIMES
More than seven million American homes are sold every year. But, many new homeowners are not informed and not very experienced in the home buying process. Unaware of what they need to qualify for a home, what is available to buy, or what the heck a property tax is. Well, if your reading this article and have considered entering the market, I’m glad to see your interested in buying a home. And if buying a home is still far off in the future for you, it’s still important to get informed and start planning now so you’ll know what to expect when the time comes. Here a ten tips to get you going in the right direction:
1. Paying your bills on time. You have to this…Yes, even if you have lots and lots of money. Paying off debt and doing it on time, makes you a lower credit risk and, therefore, a better candidate for a mortgage at the lower rate. Paying your bills now can make it easier for you to get a mortgage later.
2. Keep your credit report up-to-date. Check and update your credit report before starting to look for a home. Credit reports are used by lenders to determine whether you will qualify for the mortgage you seek and for the interest rate you pay, so make sure your report is accurate, at least request a copy to know what is in there.
3. Determine what monthly mortgage payment you realistically can afford. Calculators to determine this can be found by doing a simple google search, but really think about your income and consider what amount you can feel comfortable paying each month.
4. Learn the market. Take time to learn important terms and trends understand their meaning. Become familiar with words, ideas or trends used in the home-buying process. This will make you a more knowlegdable home-buyer and inform your decision making whether it be about your loan details or the market fluctuations or where how close you are to Home Depot.
5.Choosing a lender. Find out what you can afford before you look at houses, this is a very important point. When you do come across a Home you really like, you can’t put in an offer without first getting qualified for an amount! In fact, many real estate agents consider this a sign of an “non-serious” buyer. Getting qualified, is usually a free service and you get to know exactly what you can afford. Shop around. After you are qualified, keep looking around to see if there is something better for you out there. Look at the different types of mortgages and the interest rates offered by different lenders. Have another the lender validate your calculations and confirm what you have already been presented with.
6. Understand the deal. Get a to know the process, how an escrow works and what “earnest money” is. Ask about the closing costs and other fees before you sign documents. Ask about the rules if you decide to refinance or prepay your mortgage. Find out about what short-sales or foreclosures are, and if they may be available to you.
7. Be available and interact with your lender, agent and movers. Quite frequently, they will need to talk with you and may need additional information or decision to be made. Make sure you get back to your whomever contacts you quickly so any loose paperwork or financing issues can be completed as soon as possible.
8. Avoid emotional buying. Before you look at any house have a plan, determine what features you really need, a price range you need to stay within, repairs your willing to make in a potential home and then try to stick as close as you can to the list you made.
9. Find an agent that understands your needs and listens to you. Someone knowledgable, professional, but also someone you like, because you will be spending a lot of time looking at properties and talking on the phone with this person.
10. Visit as many homes as possible. Find out what you like, get a feel for what you may need and compare and contrast and most importantly…have fun!