HOW TO BECOME A HOMEOWNER
Congratulations! You made a decision to become a homeowner.
Owning a house is a part of an American Dream.
So many things constantly change in mortgage lending and real estate that it is hard to keep up. New rules, requirements & regulations.
However, most of the ‘basics’ still apply.
What are the first steps you need to take?
It doesn’t matter if you plan to buy your first home, move to a bigger one, want to acquire a vacation house or invest in real estate. There are steps you need to follow in order to get you to the ‘goal line’:
- Discover your WHY. Why do you want to make a move? As simple as it sounds it really makes a lot of sense to give it a thought and answer the question. Do you need to move or just want a change? Your motivation is important. The timing and expense of home purchase will definitely affect your finances and your lifestyle. What your future home will look like? It might be helpful to make two lists. On the first one write things which you and your family must have – the obvious like number of bedrooms, bathrooms, area, schools, floor plan, fireplace etc and on the second one write what things or amenities might be important but are not necessarily a must. On it you might include things which will keep you on track for what you’re looking for in the future – swimming pool, extra hobby/guest room, covered patio, extras like stainless steel appliances, wood floors, granite counters, etc …
- WHO is going to represent you in the real estate transaction? With ever changing real estate legal process, going at it on your own is probably not the best move. That’s why most of us hire a professional when help is needed to solve a problem. Finding a good Realtor that understands your needs is not that hard. Word of mouth is one of the ways. Also you might go online and see who is ‘standing out’ in the areas which you’re interested in. Then call them and ask a few questions. Most the times you would be able to say if the conversation ‘gelled’, information given was valuable, and overall experience was positive. Like in every other profession not all agents are equal. So use your best judgment and if in doubt ask around and then ask some more …
- WHAT you can afford? What you are going to use to pay for the purchase? Cash or do you need to secure a loan? Cash is king but if you are not that lucky then… There are many sources for home loans including banks, credit unions, mortgage companies, and mortgage brokers. Your Realtor may suggest a few lenders who have proven to be reliable in their previous transactions. Apply for your loan as soon as possible. Get pre-qualified. It’s a good to know what you can afford before you begin looking. In today’s market most of the Sellers require a letter of Pre-Qualification with an offer. A lender will pre-qualify you for a certain price range and help you avoid disappointments later.
- WHEN – when you have all of the above addressed then you are ready to start. You are ready to start searching the market and check what it has to offer. Now you are closer to realizing your dream … having your ducks in a row.Have fun on your journey and who knows – we might meet each other along the real estate way.
We would love to be a guide on your home selling or buying journey.