Buying a home is a different experience from person to person. Everyone handles the responsibility of applying, searching and closing in their own way. It doesn’t matter how much research you’ve done and how many times you’ve been through it, there are still situations that leave you scratching your head saying “Now I know”. Regardless of your knowledge there are fundamental requirements for every home buyer to follow, here is a detailed list of steps to take.
The very first thing you should do
Getting pre-approved is the first step in any process. In a competitive real estate market such as our current one, a pre-approval letter from a qualified lender shows the sellers two things:
1) You are qualified to buy a home
2) You’re serious enough to get the financing figured out before putting in an offer.
These two things are very important to a seller because there are dozens of other people looking at their home, and the don’t want to waste their time and effort on someone who isn’t serious. So get serious and get pre-approved.
The second thing you should do
Once you’ve figured out your lender and are comfortable, find a real estate agent; and not just ANY real estate agent. This can be one of the most pivotal decisions you make in the entire process. Just like snowflakes, no two realtors are made the same. Find one that has experience in the local market, a real estate agent with connections to the local community is going to get better results than many others. You can get a good referral for an experienced agent by clicking here.
How much can you afford?
This is a question you should have answered in step # 1. But if you’re not that far yet there are some rough formulas to try. People shop for a home by payment or by sales price. Meaning they want a specific payment and will search for a home that gives them this result, or they will make an exception to the payment and buy a home that completely suits their needs. If you’re lucky you can have both.
A good lender will be available to you around the clock, as you are shopping you should already know your pre-approval, but you may not know the payment (because every house is different). So it’s important to have access to your lender to solve these issues.
What credit score is needed?
This question is asked quite a bit, most clients are unsure of exactly what their credit score is, and what score is required to qualify for a decent mortgage. The rule is typically 600 and above, but we’ve been known to go down to 580. When it gets below 580 you start to encounter a series of problems that may make it difficult to close your loan.
How long does it take to buy a home?
Awhile back I wrote a detailed timeline titled “the survival guide for first time home buyers” , it encompasses all the steps and stages a typical home buyer will encounter. It’s designed to be a guide you can relate to your own home buying time line.
Now that you’ve read this article and hopefully have gained some confidence, you can proceed by getting pre-approved. I recommend working with a smaller company because you will get better results. Our area is perfect because it still has some traditional business etiquette in a world of big box stores. If you’re on the fence currently then you can sign up for mortgage rates here, or if you just want to do some additional reading and learn more I have my blog here. Hopefully this has been enlightening, do not hesitate to give me a call or contact me directly here.
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Green Bay WI 54301