What To Do When You Are Ready To Buy Your First Home

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Coldwell Banker - Lewis-Kirkeby-Hall

Of course I could just say pick up the phone and call me, but that would be too easy. You're probably reading this because you just want information and don't want some real estate agent hounding you for personal information.  You just want to know the basics.  Well, okay.  Here you go.

First I definitely recommend that you check out a few properties online. There are several ways you can do this, bhmls.com, duanehosek.com, realtor.com, etc.

Second, Get yourself a blank notebook and start thinking. Label it "My New Home" Think about where you live now, it's good points and bad points.  Write them all down .  Ask yourself, what your "must haves" are (2 bathrooms*****, good schools****, close to work**, indoor laundry room*) Dream a little but be practical.  The rating stars will help you later when you have to think clearly without emotion.

What can you afford?  Here are the first steps in figuring that out?

Have your numbers ready. Credit Score - Income - Obligations - Investment

Credit Scores
-  Pull your own credit, it's easy to do online.  Check out Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. They are the big 3 credit reporting agencies and any one of them will sell you a  3-Bureau Credit Report and FICO Scores. Take a good look at them - they'll need to be over 630  to get financing.

Income -  What's your before tax income?  Do you receive child support or social security?

Obligations -  Do you have car payments or lease payments? What about credit card payments. Lenders are going to look at all your monthly obligations in relation to your income.  "DTI" is Debt To Income ratios.  Know yours.

Investment - How much do you have saved up for down payment and closing costs?

These first steps can be fairly quick to get through for some first time homebuyers, but others may take months just whittling down what it is exactly that they want.  It's important to do these steps before you actually start looking at homes or even contacting a Realtor. Though a great Realtor, ahem, like me will be more than happy to coach you through  these first steps.

Next big step - Find a professional.  First you'll need a loan officer, unless you've got all cash to buy with and in that case, forget what I said in the beginning and call me now! You will want to interview them because you are hiring them - so be prepared for your interview with questions.  Ask for references.
Be straight up with your loan officer, they will work up a Pre-Qualify or Pre-Approval for you showing exactly what the maximum home price is you can qualify for.

And that little (or big) number is very important to me, oops, I mean your Realtor, the next hire you will make.  Do the same thing - they will be working for you so interview them and be prepared.   Some sample questions might be.
"Tell me about your real estate business."
"Tell me about a few of your transactions with first time buyers like myself"
"What's the worst transaction you've ever been through and what did you learn from it?"
"What do you expect of your clients?

You want to choose professionals with whom you feel will work well with you.  A lot of that will be based upon personality types and other subjective things.  But no matter how much you like them, be sure to ask the tough questions.  It's okay, really, we expect it.

Armed with your Pre-Approval letter and full knowledge of what you want, need and can afford, your house hunt will be an exciting and fruitful time.  Be patient; with yourself and this crazy market.  Buying a home is a roller coaster ride, and as such, it's scary, and exhilarating, with lots of ups and downs. 

430 Viking Dr


3 Be.2 Ba.

430 Viking Drive, Rapid City, SD, 57701

This 3 bedroom, 2 bath home has been recently remodeled and has all new baseboard heat, new tile in entryway and both bathrooms, new vanity upper bath, all new trim, new doors and brand new carpet in lower level. Enjoy the private fenced in back yard with mature trees including plum trees and the beautiful view of the hills.

Square Footage1780
Year Built1978
Lot Size (acres)0.18

Duane Hosek
Coldwell Banker-LKH
(605) 391-8424



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