How to Successfully go about Buying a Home
Choose your Realtor wisely!
The best advice is to align with a Realtor who works in the area you are hoping to purchase and who deals with homes of the kind and in the price range you are looking at! Why? Because that Realtor will be aware of homes soon to be coming on the market that might suit you perfectly, they have more than likely been in the homes and will then know if they are going to be suitable for you. Aligning yourself with a Realtor will make that Realtor commit to you when they are aware of a new listing coming on (whether with them, in the office or even with another Realtor) and keep you in mind for it. And, this relationship can be a long one! Make sure you get along well, work well together and that you’re Realtor listens to your needs! They should be looking out for you….how can that be so bad?
Confirm your credit rating is correct
When you begin to determine you are going to purchase a home….check your credit! Amazingly, mistakes and inaccuracies can appear and will need to be corrected and this often takes time.
And choose your lender wisely too!
As your Realtor is of utmost importance so is whom and where you will be financing through. Shop around! Not only do you want the best terms but you want someone who is knowledgeable and has a proven track record.
Be prepared to have a pre-qualification letter available
When it is time to make your offer on a home, having a pre-qualification letter available may help your offer be the one chosen by the sellers to negotiate. The pre-qualification letter looks at your income and debt and helps you determine what you can afford for your new home.
A pre-approval letter will take you further!
This letter is very valuable to Sellers and most desirable! A pre-approval means that you have a commitment from that lender to put together a loan and it is just waiting for a specific home and for it to appraise. This can make the process go much more quickly. Only a cash deal gets better than this one!
Inspections are next!
You will have written into your contract inspections on the property you wish to purchase. These must be completed in a defined period of time so always keep your eye on that date. Be sure to hire a reputable inspector and in the event you are purchasing an antique home, one who has experience with antiques helps considerably. Be present for the inspection because you will learn a great deal of information about the home you are purchasing! Inspections should not be looked at as another opportunity to get the purchase price down. Issues that you may choose to approach the seller to remediate should be kept to major system failures (the roof, the septic, adequate water) or health and safety issues. Cracks in the wood floor or poor lawns are not appropriate inspections requests!
If you are financing your lender will probably require that an appraisal is done in order to confirm the home is worth the money you are borrowing. Even if you are a cash buyer, it is wise to write in that “the home must appraise at or above purchase price”.
Prior to closing purchase Homeowner’s Insurance
Lenders require that you insure the property for at least the level of the loan…this protects their interest; protect yours by including your down payment money as well! Be sure to shop around to find what suits your particular needs.
Choose an attorney!
You are required to choose an attorney to represent the bank at the closing. This is the person that processes the lenders documents. Unless you obtain your own attorney you will not actually be personally represented at the closing. This is a little known fact that is not often pointed out to you, but should be! So make this choice informed!
Settlement and Closing Costs
In a perfect world it would be wonderful to have these documents prior to getting to the closing table. Sadly, this is rarely able to be done! One of the most important forms will be the HUD form which shows where monies were paid. It is wise to try to read over all of these documents prior to signing. Make sure your Realtor and your attorney are present at the closing.
The walk through!
You are finally almost there….you should arrange to walk through the house and outbuildings prior to attending the closing. If there were items that the Seller was supposed to do prior to the closing, now is the time to see if they were done to your satisfaction. The walk through is best done when all of the Sellers personal property is out of the home so that you can see the condition of the floors where rugs might have covered or the walls behind large furniture pieces.