One question that I am asked again and again is: I want to buy a house but HOW?
Steps to Buy a Home
The very first thing you need to know before you look at one house is to find out how much you can realistically afford. What you pay for rent is only one factor in determining the house you can afford and only a qualified lender who looks at your credit history, overall credit score, income and debt can make that call. Your buyer agent most likely works with several well respected lenders in the area and can guide you on who is the best fit. The lender is going to ask you for pay stubs and credit card statements and a host of other items. They need this documentation in order to investigate so be honest, open to answering questions and do so in a timely manner so they can get you on the path to home ownership while the rates are still low. And remember, all lenders are not created equally! While you may be familiar with the bank where you currently deposit your check, they may not be the right choice for a mortgage so don’t be afraid to apply at both your bank/credit union AND the lender that is recommended to you. I would also advise you to avoid RocketMortgage or Quicken or ANY on-line lender. The reason for that is because when you work with a local person, they are going to try very hard to build a relationship with you and be your go-to lender who is recommended by you to all your friends. An on-line lender is just that, a floating head in cyber space who does not have a relationship with you and who does not count on you as a future client. In other words, they don’t care as much. Thus, if there’s a hiccup in your credit score, they will deny you without offering you solutions to making improvements so you can fix the issue and be ready to go in a month or so.
The second thing you need is a Buyer Agent. Buyer agents are free to you. They are actually paid by the listing agent of the home you ultimately purchase. How many times do you get to hire someone and not pay them? What a deal! So, if your plan was to just work with the listing agent at the open houses that you visit, think again. Remember, the listing agent is working for the seller and his/her job is to get the highest price possible for the house. Do you want to pay the most you possibly can? NO! You want to pay a fair price for the home. After all, real estate is an investment. When you go to sell that first home in a few years, you want to make a profit. Buying at the fair market value will almost guarantee that investment will pay off. Having a Buyer Agent will help with just that. He/She is there as your negotiator. They will try to get you the house you love for the best price. If there are multiple offers, they know how to help your offer stand out. They will also advise you on putting other elements in place to make your offer more attractive such as a strong down payment, that reliable lender we discussed, an escalation clause and, believe it or not, the buyer agent that is known for seamless transactions.
We may not wear uniforms or get all sweaty when working together, but we are a team. In a nutshell, The most important first steps in buying a house are to work with a reliable, dependable and well-respected lender for your pre-approval and an experienced agent who knows how to both prepare you and negotiate on your behalf.
About the Author:
Dee Webster Realty Group has been helping families for over a decade and uses the latest in technology to assist your search. We are dedicated to our clients regardless of their time frame or price range. Did you know that you can search for only homes with solar panels and other “green” aspects? Need a first floor Master or a jacuzzi tub? We can find all of that and more!
Are you a buyer looking in purchase a home in Providence County Rhode Island or in Bristol County Massachusetts? Get your free digital Buyer’s Guide here: Buyer Guide
Are you a seller looking to sell your home in Providence County, RI or in Bristol County, MA? Get your free digital Seller’s Guide here: Seller Guide
Are you interested in learning more about the buying or selling process? Click here: Dee Webster Realty Group Video Series