So you think you’re ready to buy a home, congrats! But if you find yourself asking, “When is the best time to buy a home?” You’re asking the wrong question. The question is whether YOU are ready to buy, not if it’s the best time to buy. Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions and investments you will ever make. Are you ready? To help answer that question, we’ve put together several points to help you on your journey.
Pre-qualification is Typically the First Step in the Home Buying Process
It is usually a quick and simple process that will give you a general idea of how much home you can afford with monthly payments and a down payment that will fit your budget and qualifications. When getting pre-qualified your Lender will ask questions to get a good feel for your financial profile.
A Mortgage Consultant will typically ask you:
- About your employer and your current estimated gross income, including salary and any history of overtime, bonuses or commission earnings.
- About any current assets that you will be using to pay for a down payment and closing costs.
- The Mortgage Consultant may also ask for permission to pull your credit or, as an alternative, ask for a list of current outstanding debts and their monthly payment amounts
Once your Mortgage Consultant has run some initial calculations, you will have a much better idea of the price point you will qualify for.
This is also a good time to discuss the different mortgage loan programs that will work best for your situation, and how much savings you will need for a down payment based on the financing options available to you.
Hire a Realtor You Trust
The Internet has made searching for anything as easy as a few clicks, including your dream home. However, it’s important to weigh your options and see if a great realtor can bring value to your house hunting.
Not only are they able to help you find the perfect home, but they can help you avoid any pitfalls or issues you might overlook. Unsure about the neighborhood you’re interested in? What about homeowners associations? Realtors can be a wealth of information about a specific area, taxes and more – in addition to helping with the obvious price negotiations.
Many realtors are simply trying to make quotas so it’s important to do your research and ask around. A great realtor will work with you to help you to understand the process every step of the way. This is extremely important for first-time home-buyers.
You Have Multiple Options
When it comes to financing your new home, you need to choose a lender that will really explain all your options to you. Home loans can quickly become confusing and the wrong decision could cost you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan. Plus, refinancing your home loan with another lender later on can be an expensive ordeal. So you want to make sure you do it correctly the first time. Finding a mortgage consultant you trust is key to making a well-informed decision.
You will find there are many home loan options available, such as Fixed Rate, Adjustable Rate, FHA, VA loans, etc. Choosing a lender that will be there to answer all your questions and walk you through the entire process is very important. What might be the right financial decision for one person may not be the best option for you. That’s why it’s important to not only review your finances, but also your plans for the future and how this home will fit into that picture.
Take Your Time
Most importantly, take your time. When looking for new homes, don’t jump at the first home you like. Really find the right home that works for you and your family. Even if you don’t have children yet, take into consideration if you are in a good school district for when that time comes? Does your home have room to accommodate children? If you changed jobs in a few years, is your home located in an area that makes commuting easy?
Be patient. Even if you lose out on a home, there are always more that will come along. Quick, rushed decisions can cost you thousands of dollars, whether overlooking important features, not understanding different aspects of closing costs, not researching property taxes or insurance costs first, etc. Download your free copy of our eBook to use as a guide to buying your first home.
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