So you’re thinking of purchasing a new home? Congratulations! This can be an anxious but exciting time. I’m happy to help you navigate the complexities of home buying and simplify the process from beginning to end. Below are just a few things to consider before buying. When you’re ready, we can set up a meeting to clarify the steps and begin a formal search.
Save for a Downpayment
A large downpayment will certainly make it easier to secure a loan and save you a significant amount of money over the course of your mortgage. Twenty percent or more will prevent you from needing PMI (private mortgage insurance), another added expense to your monthly payment.
Find a Realtor You Can Trust
Realtors can give you insider information about houses before or immediately after they go on sale. This is not longer a convenience for home buyers–it is essential to competing in today’s housing market. Realtors have expert knowledge on the market and can give advice on whether an asking price is appropriate, the projection of local neighborhoods, mortgage and pre-approval process, negotiations, and all the paperwork involved in closing.
It’s important to find a realtor you can trust and who has your best interests in mind. You should feel comfortable with them and they should be available when you have questions. Good realtors won’t pressure you into buying–they help you weigh the pros and cons of each opportunity while offering expert knowledge about what to consider.
Secure a Pre-approval Letter
Many sellers won’t accept offers without a pre-approval letter. Different lenders will have their own requirements, but generally you can expect to provide:
- Tax returns from the last two years
- Pay stubs from the last three months
- All bank statements and investment statements from the past three months up to two years
- Proof of funds for down payment
Think About Your Wish List
Once you start your home search, you’ll need to prioritize the features that you want in a home in order for a realtor to share homes that you are most likely to love. Location is typically where people start to narrow their search, but there are many different ways to filter new home searches (bedroom count, bathroom count, basement, square footage, flooring, updates, home age, overall condition, etc.). Think about ‘must haves’ and ‘like to haves’ when you start this process. Also communicate any deal breakers or features that would automatically disqualify a house from your consideration.