You are looking into buying your first home and walk into the home of your dreams, What do you do? Are you ready to act? Will your actions lead to paying too much? Losing the home? or just having such a miserable experience you never want to do this again? Just a few steps in preparation can help you avoid all this.
Whenever and where-ever you are going to be buying, it i never too early to start. Follow these simple steps for you to be to be “offer ready" and you will have a great experience.
- When you want to be moved in and settled in your new home? Identify that date on a calendar. Now count back 8 weeks. This date is when you need to have an accepted offer on the books. So if you want to be settled in your new home on July 1st, you’ll need an accepted offer May 1st. Note, closing can sometimes take as little as 45 days, but 60 days leaves you a little wiggle room if there are delays. Nobody wants to have to move into an extended stay hotel and put all their stuff in storage, only to have to move it again in a few weeks!?
- Now we need to set aside time to find your new home. I recommend a period of 4-12 weeks. The more unique features and location that you’re looking for, I generally recommend setting aside more time to search.
- Look at your personal finances and decide how large of a payment you can really afford. Be realistic; leave room for savings, emergency funds, car repairs, and unexpected home repairs. Do not overextend yourself. You can always save the extra money for renovations!! ...or a vacation. ??
- Get pre-approval from your lender. I highly discourage showing homes to clients who don’t have pre-approval in hand. Why?
- You don’t want to visit a home, and fall in love with it, and then not be able to purchase it because your financing isn’t lined up. Not only does it stink to be let down, but looking at homes when you aren’t ready to buy isn’t an effective use of time because the market will be different when you’re ready to pull the trigger.
- In a seller’s market, sellers are looking for strong offers. A strong offer includes evidence that you’ve established a relationship with a lender and can obtain financing for the purchase. “Well, of course I can get a loan” isn’t sufficient assurance. The other buyers you’re competing against are including their financing pre-approvals with their offers, so when yours is missing, your offer appears weaker. ??
- Meet with your real estate agent before you start searching. Home sellers are represented by agents who negotiate for the seller’s advantage; you need to be equally represented by someone who fights for your best interests.
When we meet, we’ll discuss the home buying process, what you most want in a home, our search strategies, getting an accepted offer, and what to expect every step of the way. Bring your questions to this meeting! Your agent is your consultant and should be an enthusiastic guide.??
- Be ready to roll on loan commitment. Your work is only beginning when you get an accepted offer; now you’ll need to supply more documentation and go through several more steps to obtain a commitment from the lender that says they are indeed lending you the money. There’s usually a deadline in the offer by which you must have loan commitment. Selecting a lender and starting the application prior to a home really helps reduce the stress when you do get an offer accepted on your home.
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