I am a strong believer in like attracts like. That's why it is always very exciting for me to meet buyers and match them to their perfect home.
Buying a home is so much more than just finding a property, I want you to have a connection and be able to envision your life there.
Throughout the entire process we are one call, text, or email away. Buying and selling a property can be stressful. We are here to answer your questions, give you exquisite customer service, and make this process easy.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN BUYING
First Time Home-Buyers Series
Part I: Home Buying 101 - Let’s Talk Money
If you’re a first-time homebuyer or someone close to you is, you’re in luck! We know exactly what lenders are looking for and how to make yourself an ideal candidate so you can get a quality lender at a rate you’ll be thrilled about. Here are our top tips on how to be the best first-time buyer possible:
Prior to beginning your home search, find out the exact condition of your credit. You can check your score and credit details free using reputable sites like CreditKarma.com. This is a necessary first step before submitting a mortgage application. Dispute any errors that could be dragging down your credit score and look for opportunities to improve your credit, such as making a dent in any outstanding debts.
Do you have credit blemishes? Hire a pro to help repair them. A good, inexpensive place to start is Lexington Law. They will try to get mistakes or old dings off your credit for good. Nothing’s guaranteed, but it’s a good place to start.
There are a few key factors you must consider before you apply for a mortgage, such as:
Determining exactly how much you can afford (based on things like income and debt ratio).
Know and understand your price range and avoid going to the highest end of your budget. Rely on this home affordability calculator to determine what you can and should spend.
Once you apply, be wary of things (like major purchases) that could directly affect your credit score. Avoid opening any new accounts, such as credit or auto loans, until after your home loan closes.
When applying for a mortgage loan, your credit will be one of the key factors in whether you’re approved, and it will help determine your interest rate and possibly the loan terms. Use tools to pause/freeze your credit and keep a close eye on it throughout the entire home buying process. Remember, your dream of becoming a homeowner is near, you can do it!
Part II: Become An Expert On Securing The Best Mortgage Rates
Okay, so you’ve taken our advice and your credit is now rock solid. Now what? Well, now it’s time to put all that hard work to good use by locking in an amazingly low interest rate! Once your credit is stellar and you’ve pinpointed your exact mortgage budget, that means it’s mortgage shopping time.
The most important thing to remember is that you must exercise your options. The ball is in your court because lenders want responsible buyers just like you. Allow them to cater to you, and explore your rate options. Comparing mortgage rates from at least three vendors can save you at least $3,500 over the first five years of your loan. It’s crucial that you assess not only rates but also fees associated with the terms of the mortgage. Doing so will allow you to be a better buyer by making the smartest decisions possible.
As you’re comparing quotes, ask whether any of the lenders would allow you to buy discount points, which means you’d prepay interest up front to secure a lower interest rate on your loan. How long you plan to stay in the home and whether you have money on hand to purchase the points are two key factors in determining whether buying points makes sense for your specific situation. You can use this calculator to decide whether it makes sense to buy points.
The preapproval letter should be a necessity when it comes to the home buying process. When you clearly show lenders that you’re pre-qualified for a mortgage, this presents you as a serious buyer in the eyes of a lender. And when it comes to a competitive house market and a heavily sought-after home, you’ll have an edge on your competition with one foot automatically in the door. Don’t skip the pre-approval letter; it could be the difference in you landing that perfect first home!
Additionally, there are some real estate agents who will require one just to give you a tour of the home. It’s a small step to take that speaks volumes to sellers, agents, and especially lenders. Village Properties’ agents work directly with a number of local loan brokers, and anyone of us would be delighted to give you a referral.
Part III: How To Pick An Agent
When it comes to buying your first home, choosing a trusted real estate agent with a solid client satisfaction rating should be high on your list. Above all, you will want to do your research when it comes to finding the right agent. Someone who has a stable track record, is involved in the community, and knows and understands clients’ needs is an absolute must. You want someone you can build a strong rapport with during your home buying journey, so search for someone who you “click” with and can imagine spending the next few months with comfortably.
Referrals from family and friends are great, because these people know you well, and their recommendations will come with your likes and interests in mind. If there’s a particular area you’re looking to buy in, find a seasoned agent who has a proven track record in that area and can best guide you on your journey to buying your first home.
Part IV: Choosing A Home
Remember, your first home does not have to be your forever home. A dream home is often something you work towards, so never disregard what may be the most realistic option for your first time as a home buyer. Going towards the top of your budget is a recipe for disaster, and not only that, but you’re only going to put even more pressure on yourself once those mortgage payments hit.
Here are some factors to carefully consider when you are looking to purchase your first home:
Whenever you buy your first home, in order to secure your loan, mortgage companies will often go back at least six months to ensure that you are a qualified buyer with healthy financial habits. Living paycheck to paycheck or receiving large sums of money for a down payment are red flags to lenders. Start saving early, and be realistic about your budget when looking to purchase your first home. You must always factor in things such as taxes, insurance, and closing costs.
If you have a daily commute, are hoping for certain neighborhood/area amenities, or have children who will be attending a public school, you must thoroughly assess the area so that you are not regretting your location after you’ve closed on your home. Buyer’s remorse is a very real thing, and purchasing your first home is a major milestone in your life. Don’t be consumed by frustration and regret; do your homework when picking your first home — or any home for that matter.
Unless you’re having a custom home built, no house will 100% match your tastes/desires. Just like with anything in life, you must objectively weigh the good versus the bad. If there are obvious deal breakers, do not even waste your time considering the home. But if there are small, aesthetic things you’d like to change, think of the hands-on DIY opportunities you have to make your first home uniquely you. This alone is a great way to put you within your budget and helps you see the value in choosing a quality home with minimal upgrades needed.
It is very important to set your expectations accordingly when buying a new home. Understand that finding your absolute dream house is very rare! So make sure you have a list of deal-breakers and areas of compromise going forward with your new home search.