You would really like to purchase a home, almost ideal circumstances exist and spring fever is spurring you on.
But where to start? Having never been through the buying process if you're a first time buyer, you surely have plenty of questions and there may be a few myths standing in the way. Even if you've purchased before, the market has changed, so a review will be helpful in getting ready.
Several things you probably already know you will need may include:
· Good credit score
· Money for expenses that come with purchasing
· Patience with the process
So here’s a quick overview of some realities of house hunting that you can expect. Bear in mind though, that every transaction is different. Each party to a transaction brings their hopes, fears, desires, emotions and expectations into play. While most sales are pretty smoothly accomplished, you should prepare for the possibility of a bump or two to overcome.
No worries though! Choose the local RE/MAX Alliance Associate you are most comfortable working with and they will give you their best to bring a successful conclusion to your buying experience.
PREPARATION: this can take anywhere from a year to just a few weeks. If you’ve had some credit troubles, it does not automatically disqualify you from buying a home. Loaning requirements have been adjusted, with some FHA loans being approved with scores in the 680’s. While you will encounter certain expenses you should save toward you don’t need 20% down to purchase a home. Sure, that will save a few dollars each month in Personal Mortgage Insurance premiums (PMI), but the other side of that is waiting could cost even more. Interest rates have been fabulously low, but they aren’t staying there. They aren’t shooting upwards, but the upward movement could eventually price you out of the house you've set your sights on. Looking but haven’t found “the one” yet? Be sure you lock-in your current rate with your full application. And about that – DO complete the application process before making heading out on the hunt. You want to be totally able to leap into action when your dream home shows itself.
You may also find you won’t need to pay closing costs up front. The variety of loan packages available means there is one that fits your need, including adding certain costs into the loan itself. Interest rates remain less than half of what they were in the 90’s. Patience and planning will go a long way to make your dream come true. Talk to your lending officer for details of how to get your finances and credit in acceptable condition for a purchase.
PLAN: on exactly what you want and need in a home. With the input of your agent, think about things like how long will you live there? If this is a starter home, what do you need right now? Do you need the house to work in the future as your life changes? Separate what you would like to have from what you must have to be comfortable. This will make the hunt far easier and much more pleasant. Knowing what you are hunting for means you’ve already won half the battle of finding it.
Available homes to choose from may insist you settle for less than every detail on your want list. Which items are priority? You may find you don’t have to settle in one area, if you are willing to make concessions in other areas. Maybe an older home without all the desirable upgrades already done but in the neighborhood or school district of choice is your best buy? You can always upgrade after the purchase, and overlooking a few cosmetic issues now could land you a treasure others have dismissed.
Most real estate agents offer guidelines that will assist you in your planning process. Count on your agent to help with every step of the purchase, not just paperwork and unlocking doors for you.
PERSEVERE: inventory of available homes has been tight for quite some time and demand from buyers has been high. Bidding wars are fairly common in this atmosphere and multiple bids on a home are pretty much the standard. Your real estate agent should be prepared to counsel you on the market and what your best moves will be to bring about that most important move; the one into your new home! It may take a number of offers made and negotiated before you make it to the closing table. Don't give up and trust your agent to help keep you on track as you go through the process.
Purchasing a home, especially for the first time, is filled with excitement and a little fraught with emotional ups and downs along the way. Every real estate market has a few twists and turns to be navigated but when all is said we are sure you will agree that you’ll be glad you took the journey!