How do I buy a home?
Buying a home can seem daunting and it’s hard to know where to start. Many years ago if you wanted to buy a home the whole process was done with some down payment and a hand shake. While it’s no longer that simple, it is not as hard as many make it out to be. Let’s keep things simple and look at the three step process below that will get you on your way to owning your home:
Figure out what you need
Start with figuring out what basic needs you have for a house. Please keep in mind there are things you need and things you want. You might need three bedrooms but prefer four. You might need a pole barn for your business or just prefer one to store toys. Start to put together a list of things you need and want. The next important question is, “What can I afford?” Start with how much money you want to put down. It might be as little as $200. Also start to get an idea of what you want to pay monthly on a mortgage.
Make contact with a lender to get preapproved. There is a difference between prequalification and preapproval. With prequalification, a lender will pull your credit and look at the information you told them about your income and see what programs you might qualify for. When you get preapproved, your lender gets your income and supporting documents and actually underwrites the loan to make sure it meets program guidelines. Now a prequalification will work on 60% of the borrowers that get it but 40% end up not approved for what they are prequalified for. I’m sure you don’t want go into buying a house with only a 60% chance of closing on it. If you want to start the free preapproval process click here. If you want an overview on loan programs go here.
Find an agent that works for you
By now you know what you want in a house, how much you want to pay and can qualify for. Many buyers start the search for their home on their own and call whoever is listing the home they are interested in. The only problem with this method is that the agent who is listing the house is contracted to get the most money out of you as possible. You need someone that will work for you and negotiate on your behalf. They can also save you time and money by making sure the home your are going to purchase meets the requirements of your loan. Good realtors are hard to find and we can certainly direct to a very capable professional that knows and lives in the area you are looking for a home in.