Before applying for a mortgage, or any kind of loan, you should always check your credit. According to the law, you’re allowed to receive one free copy of your credit report per year. You can access your report by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Scores range from approximately 300 to 850. Generally, the higher your score the better loan terms you will qualify for. Be sure to check your report for errors. If there are any, dispute them as it may improve your credit score.
You can get a basic idea of how much you can afford using an online mortgage calculator. These tools can calculate monthly mortgage and escrow payments. Many will allow you to account for things such as a down payment, closing costs, inspections, appraisal, etc. There are numerous other factors to consider, such as insurance and taxes, that are often escrowed and add to your monthly payment. We recommend enlisting the help of your Lender or REALTOR® to assist you in working through the details. Their experience and knowledge are going to be the best way to ensure an accurate assessment.
To find the best lender it is important to shop around. Get recommendations from your friends and family. Interview more than one lender and ask lots of questions. Make sure you are satisfied with their answers. It is important to find a lender that you are comfortable with who makes you feel at ease.
To find the best REALTOR® it is important to research your options. Many specialize in different areas of real estate. These include buyer’s agents, listing agents, new construction, foreclosures, etc. Be sure to ask lots of questions and make sure you are satisfied with their answers. It is important to find a REALTOR® that you are comfortable with who makes you feel at ease.
Make a list of the essential item you must have in a home. Ask yourself how many bedrooms and bathrooms you will need, and how much space you will require. Other items to consider are, garage spaces, yard size, age, condition, etc. Now that you know what you need in a home it is time to determine where that home should be located.
Location is important. Be sure to consider what kind of neighborhood you prefer. Schools, length of commute, proximity to local restaurants and shopping, safety, and rate of appreciation are all other important factors to consider.
Now that you have found the right home, it is time to make an offer. Most sellers price their homes with the assistance of their REALTOR®. Your REALTOR® will help you determine how much to offer by analyzing comparable homes that have sold in the area. Depending on your strategy, there may be several counter-offers involved in your negotiations. Eventually, you will meet somewhere in the middle. Once you have agreed on a price you will make a deposit as a sign of good faith.
This phase of the home buying process is one of the most important. This is the period of time where you finalize your loan, perform inspections, appraise the home’s value, negotiate repairs, obtain insurance, and much more.
Settlement can be an exciting yet stressful part of the home buying experience. Selecting a settlement date convenient to both parties and reviewing the settlement statement are signs that the end is approaching. Be sure to plan to take time off to attend your settlement and ensure all needed funds are available for withdrawal or transfer well in advance. There are many things that can cause delays at this point and nobody likes surprises this close to the finish line.
Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of your new home. Be sure to plan ahead for the move. Utilities transfers are often overlooked and the lack of power or running water can put a damper on the excitement. Window coverings, appliances, internet, television, and telephone service are a few other things to prepare for prior to moving in. Relax and enjoy!