Dear Potential/Confused Buyer,
So you want to achieve the dream of home ownership right? YEAH!!!! Besides being the biggest financial decision you will make, this is also the biggest roller coaster ride you will ever find yourself on. Lucky for you, I am at the control panel and I'm going to make sure that you don't get thrown off the track! So, sit back, try to relax, and enjoy the ride.....
The most common thing I hear - What if I'm not ready yet, but I know I want to buy, but I'm just not sure??? Your knees are wobbly and you want to know, but you will never know unless you get on. With so many grants out there right now, especially since they will be ending soon, you need to know where you stand financially. You may be able to get into that home that you were only admiring from afar. My advice? GO TALK TO A LENDER NOW!!!! The only way it will affect you is if you DON'T go talk to them now. You might miss out on a great opportunity.
How will I know what I can afford?
Easy, go see a Mortgage Lender, Bank or Credit Union. Your Loan Officer will be able to tell you how much you will qualify for and they may be able to tell you what program and interest rate you will get. There is documentation you will need to take with you when meeting with your Loan Officer - be prepared and it will be easy for them to help you. You will need the following:
- 2 months worth of pay stubs for anyone working that will be on the loan
- If you are self-employed, you will need 2 years of tax returns
- Do you receive any additional income, such as alimony or child support? You will need to bring bank statements and/or garnishment orders showing you receive that monthly in order to be used as income
- Make sure you take your Social Security Card and Drivers License/And/Or State Issued ID Card - They will want to make copies
- When you have been pre-qualified, make sure they give you a pre-approval letter. You will need this when looking for homes.
So that was easy enough right? Ok, now you are ready for the next step. Let's go look at homes! This is my favorite part. I love to show you homes, to see the look on your faces when you find what you love, but please do me a favor - tell me what you want to see. I already know how much you can afford, and I am going to stick within that range for you. But you need to let me know the following:
- Is there a specific area you want/need to be in? It may be because you don't want to switch your kids from their school, or you want to be in walking distance to work, etc.
- How many bedrooms would you like? How many bathrooms? One story, two story? Fenced yard, no yard? Do you see the specifics I need?
Sit down and write me a list of what is important to you. You may have to give and take to get what you want for a good deal. Make sure you think about what's important to you and what you absolutely MUST have. This helps me to narrow down my search and find what you want not what I think you want.
"WOW - this is it! This is the one for us" I love hearing those words. Don't you???? The next step is making an offer. I will help you write an offer for a reasonable amount. We will go over all the paperwork and submit any contingencies that you request. Please know that I will do my best to help you, but if you are asking the sun, moon and stars in addition to low balling the sellers, I need to let you know that your offer is probably going to end up in the trash. Be reasonable, but be firm if needed. In most cases, the seller is going to counter your offer. I will try to negotiate on your behalf to the best of my ability and hopefully we will have a deal asap. Please understand that things take time, so sometimes you can't rush.
Yeah we have a deal - you are a few steps closer to having that home you keep driving past everyday. Yes, I know you drive past it and that's ok - you SHOULD be excited! I'm excited for you!!!
What happens now? I will send over a copy of your purchase contract with all the information over to your Loan Officer. Then they will order the appraisal. The appraisal can take up to 4 weeks. Once the appraisal is complete, we hope and pray and cross our fingers that it comes in for at least the amount you are purchasing it for, if not MORE.
Woohoo! The appraisal came in for what we are purchasing the home for. Awesome! Now we can move forward with the loan process. Your Loan Officer will draw up all the necessary paperwork and will be in contact with you about how much your payments and interest will be and all of that good mortgage stuff.
Guess what? It's time to close your deal! This means everything is complete. We will go to the Title Company and sign all of your papers.
CONGRATULATIONS! YOU ARE A HOMEOWNER!
You have rode the roller coaster of home buying and survived! Do you remember I promised I would stay with you through it all? I never let you get off track, and as your Realtor I never will. I look foward to working with you soon!