WHY WORK WITH US TO BUY PROPERTY?
Experienced: We have many years of real estate experience helping clients purchase properties that best suit their specific needs.
Connected: We are full-time agents in the local real estate community with a vast network of sellers and contacts.
Knowledgeable: As local resident Realtors we have expert knowledge in the areas we service.
Service with Results: We offer step-by-step assistance to help you buy your property for the best possible price under the best available terms.
STEPS TO BUYING A HOME
Step 1: Check Your Credit Report & Score
Before getting 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 do this by visiting Annualcreditreport.com or www.creditkarma.com. Scores range from approximately 300 to 850 and generally, the higher your score, the better loan terms you will qualify for. Be sure to review your report and dispute any errors as it may improve your score.
Step 2: Figure out How Much You Can Afford
There are several online mortgage calculators that can help you calculate an affordable monthly mortgage payment. Remember to factor in money you will need for a down payment, closing costs, fees (such as fees for an attorney, appraisal, inspection, etc.) and the costs of remodeling or furniture. You do not always have to put 20% down as there are loan products available requiring little to no down payment. An experienced home loan expert can help you understand all your loan options, closing costs and other fees.
Step 3: Find the Right Lender
Before you begin home shopping, it is best to find the mortgage lender that is right for you. You may want to get recommendations from your friends and family and check with the Better Business Bureau. Talk to at least three or four mortgage lenders, ask a lot of questions and make sure the lender has satisfactory answers. Be sure to find someone knowledgeable who you are comfortable working with.
Once you have the right lender, you will want to work with them to obtain a pre-approval, rather than a pre-qualification, letter. Although obtaining a pre-qualification letter is typically a faster and less detailed process, a pre-approval letter is based on more comprehensive information you provide the lender as well as a credit review. Submitting a pre-approval letter along with your offer is often more appealing to Sellers.
Step 4: Get the Best Mortgage for Your Situation
There are many different types of mortgage programs out there. As a base line, you should be aware of the three basic ones: adjustable rate, fixed rate and interest-only. Ask your mortgage lender or mortgage banker questions about which mortgage is right for you based on your specific financial situation.
Step 5: Define Your Criteria
Make a list to share with your Broker that summarizes what you are looking for in a property. Identify any must-haves such as: How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? How much space do you desire? How large do you want the kitchen to be? Do you need a garage, storage for toys or a fenced yard?
Also, consider your criteria on other factors: Do you want to be able to ride your bike to the coffee shop or do you prefer being outside of town on some acreage? Are you looking for big mountain or valley views or do you prefer to be tucked into the trees? What do you want your travel time to be for commuting, shopping or proximity to specific activities?
Step 6: Make an Offer on the Home
Now that you've found the home you want, your Broker will help you make an offer. Have your proof of funds or pre-approval letter in hand. Keep in mind that most sellers list their home expecting there will be some negotiating involved. You will want to work with your Broker to review recently sold comparable properties and discuss offer strategy. Hopefully, the seller will accept your initial offer, however they may make a counter-offer for you to consider. Once the parties have reached agreement on price and terms, you will arrange to deposit earnest money, typically held in the title company’s escrow account, to give the seller a sign of your good faith to purchase their property.
Step 7: Closing on Your Home
Your Broker will help you navigate the contract requirements and deadlines. Be sure part of the process is to have a professional home inspection. It will be well worth the cost investment as it provides valuable information about structural integrity and the overall condition of the home.
To avoid any last minute surprises, talk to your broker and lender to understand all the costs that will be involved with closing. Closing costs may include, but are not limited to your down payment, title company fees, appraisal, inspection, attorney fees, and points if you have elected to buy down your interest rate.
Step 8: Move In!
Congratulations! You have closed the deal and now it's time to move in, unpack and begin enjoying your home! Buying a property doesn't have to be overwhelming. Remember, an experienced lender and a friendly, knowledgeable real estate agent are the key to helping you have a successful home buying experience!