Stop worrying and buy a home in 3 Steps
There is a way to do it and it involves gaining an edge when buying a home. How would you go about gaining an edge? Here are some home buying tips just in time for Spring and Summer that can be used any time of year!
Following the 3 steps below will allow you to gain that much needed edge when it’s time to buy a home.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” – Benjamin Franklin
Can you think of times in your life when you failed to prepare and then what resulted? We’ve all done it; failed to prepare. You didn’t get the job, lost the sale, lost the competition, forget your lines in your presentation, missed your goal or even lost the girl or guy! Then on the flip side, what happened when you prepared for something? I bet you’re smiling right now thinking of those moments of sheer delight. You got the job, won the sale, won the competition, got a standing ovation, exceeded your goal and married the girl or guy! Yes, preparation is crucial, even when buying a home. So how can you prepare to buy a home?
First, you’ll want to make sure that you have been paying careful attention to your credit, as your credit score will matter if your plans are to finance your purchase.
Your credit score will affect the interest rate you pay and simply whether or not you’ll be able to even secure a mortgage.
Paying your bills on time is critical. If you’ve been late in paying your bills in the past, you’ll want to have made an effort to make sure your bills are paid on time. In addition, if this is your first home purchase, you can use 12 months of paying your rent on time to show your credit paying ability. If you haven’t been good on making on-time payments, then this is where you can prepare to start paying your bills on time going forward to establish a 12 month paying period. For more tips on improving your credit, be sure to refer to credit expert, Blair Warner of Upgrade My Credit for help if you’re having a hard time getting on track.
Next, you’ll need to plan for your down payment for your home purchase.
How much money have you been able to save to buy your home? Have you been planning to purchase your home with financing? You can now buy a home with 3.00% down when financing or you can save more for a substantial down payment or are you able to pay cash for your new home? Know your options.
Once you have prepared to get your credit in order and saved money for your down payment, you’ll now need to meet with your Lender to get Pre Approved for a mortgage, if you’re financing.
This process will require you to put some of your financial documents together for your Lender to review, such as tax returns, pay stubs, and bank statements. Your Lender will review your financials along with your credit that you’ve addressed, in order to provide you with a Pre Approval letter. This Pre Approval letter is gold. It will tell you what price you can afford; what you’re approved to buy. It will tell any home Seller about your ability to be able to afford to buy their home and that the chance is great for a final loan commitment. Of course, this Pre Approval is not a guarantee of loan commitment, but is your best show of strength. When you’re able to demonstrate financing strength a Seller is that much more willing to consider your offer. Never consider beginning the home search without it! Searching for a home before getting your Pre Approval, is fruitless, as you don’t know what price you’ll be approved for. What happens if you begin searching for a $500,000 home only to find out you’re only going to get approved for a home that is valued at $400,000. That could be a huge disappointment and it isn’t any way to begin the home buying process. So don’t set yourself up for disappointment, get Pre Approved first!
“Research is creating new knowledge” – Neil Armstrong
I bet that before you even began step #1, you began to research the city and neighborhoods that you’d like to call home. I understand, finding a new home is indeed exciting and it’s easy to jump the gun to get started researching before you’re even ready; it’s never a good idea to put the cart before the horse, however.
You’ve completed step #1, so let’s really get started with researching. Buying a home is likely one of the most important investments that you will ever make. Researching where you’d like to settle in is very wise. You know the dollar amount of a loan that you’ve Pre Approved for, so this is the price range where you’ll begin to look. You can begin your search online to get a feel for what is available – I understand that the majority of Buyers indeed begins their search online before they even talk to a Realtor.
Prior to your research, you’ll have determined what it is that you want in a home, such as; number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage of home and lot, upgraded or fixer upper, close to your work or your willingness to drive, pool or no pool, 1 story or 2 story, gated or not gated, homeowners association or none, etc. You’ll determine what it is that you must absolutely have in your home and then what you’d like to have, however, it isn’t absolutely necessary, yet you think it sure would be nice! Have you selected a certain city that you’d like to live in or are you open to considering other options in order to get more of the things on your list? These are the things that you’ll need to express clearly to your Realtor and your Realtor should be asking these questions of you also.
Now that you know what you want and can afford, you can do some research online over the internet to find out where you can find these items to get a rough idea. It’s good to get a good overall feel for what is available in your local Real Estate Market. Now, if you’re not at all familiar with your local Real Estate Market, as you’re relocating to an area, then Step #3 will get your Realtor to be more heavily involved in the researching, limiting your initial search. And once you hire a Realtor, their researching for you should take off! On to Step #3.
3. Hire right
[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]“Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it” – Henry David Thoreau[/inlinetweet]
Who you hire to help you buy a new home will make all the difference in finding a home just right for you, priced right and with minimal headaches during the home buying process. This step involves the Realtor selection process. Back in Step #2 where you were researching for homes, you could have also included in your research to search online by googling to find a true Real Estate professional to help you. Starting your search online for your Realtor is a great idea, as you can discover so much about your Realtor. If they’re a Realtor who excels in marketing, which a top Realtor should be proficient at, you should be able to discover some great professionals online. When you find their image popping up online, along with a number of pages that all direct you back to them, that would be a great place to start to dig in and find out more about those faces that keep popping up. There are so many Social Media platforms being utilized now, that it’s pretty easy to find out about your local Realtor; from Google+ to Pinterest, to Facebook, to Twitter and more, you can really find out a lot. (You can find out a lot about me there!). Read and learn about them before you even pick up the phone to call them and if you can’t find out about the answer to these questions online, make sure you ask them when you speak with them:
Are they a professional full time Realtor who loves their job? Would you want to get stuck with someone who dreads their job?
Do they have quality experience? Are you willing to be a test case for a new Realtor?
What do their customers say about them? Be leery about a lack of quality customer reviews.
What feel do you get from them online? Is there something just not right about their online persona? Trust your instinct. You should get a good feel for them, by reading about them, particularly if they have a Real Estate blog. Not all Realtors blog, and for those that do, you’ll have an advantage in being able to view their knowledge and expertise on their blog.
What are their negotiation and communication skills. Do you want a Realtor who is lacking in negotiation and communication skills? Securing a good sales price for the home you’ll buy and getting through the home inspection process will require great negotiation skills.
Can you trust them? Imagine hiring someone who doesn’t have your best interests in mind.
Once you’ve successfully gone through these steps, gaining an edge, the end result prior to getting the home that you desire, will also be the mental edge that you’ve acquired, as you know you prepared, did your research and hired the right Realtor to direct you in the home buying process. This mental edge, which is the ultimate edge to be had, as it brings peace of mind, no anxiety and virtually worry-free home buying.
So stop worrying and go buy a home!
Perhaps you have other questions about buying a home – call me now, Lynn Pineda at 954-464-1100 or email at LynnP@ImagineYourHouse.com
Real Estate Article written by South Florida Realtor, Lynn Pineda. Keller Williams Coral Springs Realty. June 19, 2014. Real Estate Promises Delivered.