The beginning stages of searching for the right home might feel a bit like profile matching on eharmony. First finding a realtor and a banker that you are comfortable with…because there are a lot of personal details to be shared. No matter what stage you are at in life, buying a home is one of the biggest commitments you will ever make, having the right people beside you can make or break the outcome and experience.
A great Realtor is familiar with the area and it’s offerings, from amenities and home listings to history and events – which tackles the first and greatest task of home searching – LOCATION! Spending time researching an area online before you arrive can be very daunting…trying to gauge distances, not knowing which amenities are offered in each town, what are the seasonal differences, where will you find the cheapest taxes… these questions and many more can be answered by your knowledgeable Realtor.
NEXT – We all want to get as much as we can for our money but the bank’s pre-qualification process and loan requirements can sometimes limit possibilities. Expressing financial expectations with your Realtor can sometimes be just as helpful as discussing with a banker. In dealing with many different transactions each year, Realtors can often guide you to a lending institution that will best suit your needs and the home you desire. -Denied for a home loan, here is a list of banks that will work with your credit score, income, past history. -Home doesn’t qualify for the mortgage, here is a list of banks that will finance a mobile home, fixer upper, investment property. -Closing costs or down payment too high, here are some loan programs that require less or none at all.
Aside from financing, it is important to have a price range in which you feel comfortable, the last thing you want to do is strap yourself with a payment for a home you can’t afford the utilities or improvements on…let alone enjoy the many wonderful things your area has to offer.
Investment, are you looking for something that will hold a return in the near future? Is this a second home you could rent seasonally? Are there possibilities for an income suite? All valid considerations when you are looking to buy a more expensive home for less expense. Let your Realtor know you are open to these possibilities.
Third on the list is what makes you FEEL at home, do you crave the unique features and comforts of an older home, the minimal maintenance of a new home or the abundant possibilities and rewarding feelings a fixer upper can bring. Do you have an in-home business, is rental income needed to help financially, does it need to offer self sustaining attributes? Fine tuning these items can help you find your home faster and make decisions easier.
Once the home has been found, the offer has been accepted and the bank has given the green light…the home BUYING process truly begins. Inspections and tests are first to be completed, on comes the appraisal, legal work and underwriter approval, often delayed with need for more paperwork or clarification from professionals. The average loan closes in 45-60 days from original offer date…and never without some sort of hurdle.
Being familiar with the different banks, loans and requirements, a Realtor can often foresee issues and have them resolved before they arise. Need clarification or help providing documents…they can assist with that too.
Closing day is always long awaited and like a few glasses of wine…you swear you’ll never do it again. But regardless of if you do or not, keep your Realtor’s number on hand, they can be a great resource of information for contractors, service providers, clubs, charities, events and more.