Searching for, and purchasing, a home can be a time-consuming, complex process. We’ve provided some tips to help smooth out the procedure as much as possible.
Tip 1: Get your credit in order
It’s always a good idea to check your credit before applying for a home loan. Request a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus. Every American is entitled to a free annual credit report. For your convenience, we’ve included the names, web addresses and toll-free numbers for the three agencies.
Tip 2: Get pre-approved
An actual part of the loan process, a pre-approval is a good thing to have before you start looking for a home. An approval means your lender has reviewed your credit history, verified your income and employment and then approved a loan amount. This saves time in the closing process and can provide valuable leverage when putting an offer on a home because the seller knows you are qualified to buy their home.
Tip 3: Find a Realtor to represent you
A buyer’s agent’s job, and fiduciary responsibility, is to work for you, the buyer. They represent you in the negotiation process to get you the home you want at the best price.
Tip 4: Searching for a home
Search the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for home’s that fit your criteria. This will narrow the choices and make it easier for you to pick some homes to look at.
Be sure the neighborhood is in a good school district, if you have children. Also, look for features important to you such as recreational activities, proximity to work, safety, etc. Your Realtor can help you get this information.
Tip 5: Be reasonable
No house is perfect; understanding this will help you put each home in proper perspective. It will also make the searching process much easier on you. Know what you can live with and what you can’t, so you have reasonable expectations. Spend the extra money to have the house inspected by a professional for major defects. If they find any, are they going to be expensive repairs? If so, and you really want the house, insist on a reduced price or that the defects be repaired prior to signing on the dotted line.
The American Dream of homeownership is within reach – just make sure you are armed with the most information to make the best decisions. Contact us with any questions.
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