By : Randy Bell
New Year, New Goals. As you are checking off the list of goals for the 2nd and 3rd quarter, maybe you’re beginning to think that you should buy your own home? Before you hit the ground running and check out every house on
the market, here are the top 3 things you need to think about before starting the home buying process.
1.Getting a down payment on your home:
As a buyer, you need to understand that a down-payment is necessary.This down payment will range from 3% to
20 % of the full price of the house, depending on what type of mortgage you choose.
The U.S. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insures loans on qualifying residential properties. FHA loans offer the best opportunity to buy a house with a tiny down payment, as they’ll allow first-time homebuyers to purchase property with only 3.5 percent down. For example, that’s only $3,500 on a $100,000 house!
How to Start: Speak with a mortgage broker about your mortgage options. There are three ways that you can find a broker: ask your friends who are homeowners for recommendations, run a Google search for ‘mortgage broker’ in your city, or ask your real estate agent for recommendations. The biggest thing to look for is their response rate (how quickly they can get information back to you) & how well they know their loan products, and how
thoroughly you have your questions answered.
2. Getting an Agent
Technically, you don’t need a real estate agent to buy a house, but choosing to use one can make the home buying process less complicated. If you act as an “unrepresented buyer,” you would search the internet for properties and contact the listing agent to set up showings. If you want to make an offer on a house, a qualified person will need to write the offer for you. Licensed real estate agents are qualified to write offers.
How to Start: Ask other homeowners in your area for recommendations for real estate agents they’ve used and liked.
3.Create 2 lists: Must-Haves and Nice-to-Haves.
Send both of those lists to your agent, and bring those with you as you look at properties.
For example, your must-haves might include a specific neighborhood or school district. It might need to be walking distance from a specific place, like a park or shopping center. The home may need a certain number
of bedrooms or bathrooms.
Maybe you need a huge yard, or maybe you love sunlight so much that you consider south-facing windows as a ‘must.’ Staying under a specific price point is a must in some cases.
Your nice-to-haves, by contrast, might include details like hardwood floors instead of carpet, stainless steel instead of white appliances, or 10′ ceilings instead of standard height.
Buying a home doesn’t need to be an overwhelming process. You only have 3 jobs:
1. Save for a down payment
2. Enlist a team of experts to help you (including a buyer’s agent and a
3. Compile a list of ‘must-haves’ for your new home
If this is goal that you are willing to accomplish, all you have to do is take action, stay patient and trust the process.
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