READY, SET, BUY!
Whether its your first home, or you are adding to your investment portfolio, buying property can be very exciting. Being able to share my knowledge and insight in a way that helps someone purchase the perfect property, is what I enjoy most. Below are some of the basic steps any buyer will face once they have decided to purchase.
Is Buying Right For you?
Before you decide to buy, you should strongly consider is buying is right for you. It's not a one size fits all decision. You should consider both short and long term goals both personally and professionally. Are you up for that promotion that may move you out of state? Not sure if you love the area you currently live in? Situations like these lend themselves to renting.
Understand Your Goals
Clearly defining your reason for purchasing is critical in making the best possible decision. Are you looking to gain equity in your purchase? Establish a home for your family, eliminate your commute, or purchase a property that can become an income property later in life? Once you understand YOUR answers to these questions, you be able to better identify the property that is right for you.
Prepare Your Finances
This doesn't just mean save for a down payment. You'll need to understand your credit score, income history and debt ratio. A great place to begin is to start gathering documents that will be required for a loan application. i.e., bank statements and tax returns. All of this will help you to formulate an approximate budget and streamline the loan process, by being prepared.
Not only should you take the time to research, thing that will impact your home, such as, school systems and location, you need to do financial research. Take a look to see if you qualify for State or local programs, like first time home buyers programs and down payment assistance. You should also consider the type of loan you can qualify for, such as Conventional, VA, or FHA.
Put your brand loyalty aside when it comes to securing financing. Your credit union may not offer the best rates. You should engage several lenders to ensure that you are getting the best deal possible. Any lender is able to provide you with an estimated rate and approval letter with you providing a few pieces of information. Once you find a lender, or two, that you are comfortable with, get a pre-approval letter. This will be needed to begin your search.
Find Your Home
Once you're pre-approved for a loan, it's to start your search. Its important to think back your initial goal during this search to help you keep clear focus on your needs. Once you find the property for you its time to make an offer. Keep in mind that it can often take several days to receive a response, so be patient.
Congrats! Your offer has been accepted. The next several days are critical for the purchase. There will be several action items that will need to take place. These include, but are not limited to: Finalizing your loan application, funding the escrow account, reviewing disclosures, and establishing home owners insurance. As you complete each item you quickly come closer and closer to closing on your new home!