Buying a home can seem like an overwhelming task. From determining how much you can afford and securing financing to finding the right home and negotiating the transaction, the dream of homeownership can become extremely daunting if you don’t know where to begin and what to expect.
• Is your “financial house” in order?
Begin by taking a close look at your financial situation. Do you have a clear picture of your income versus expenses? If you’ve had past credit problems, it doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be turned down for a home loan. Talk to a lender for advice. We would be happy to refer you to a lender who can help you sort through your questions confidentially.
• How much can you put down?
Now, many programs require as little as five percent and in many markets, you may also qualify for a first-time buyer program.
• Consider lining up your mortgage before you begin house hunting.
One of the best negotiating tools you can have in your pocket is to already have your financing lined up with a pre-approved home loan.
• What should you ask a potential lender before committing to a specific loan program?
Ask about the terms of the loan, the down payment required, whether the interest rates are fixed or variable or a combination of the two, whether there are pre-payment penalties, points and other terms or costs associated with the loan (such as appraisal, processing, mortgage insurance or other fees). Require a “Truth In Lending Statement” that outlines in writing the costs and fees that explain why that lender’s interest rate is lower and that can quickly meet or exceed what looks like a higher interest rate with another lender.
Once we’ve found a property that you want to buy, we will guide you through the negotiation process and terms of the sales agreement