Real Estate Agent with Park Place Real Estate, Broker-In-Charge

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Buying a home is one of the most detailed and expensive transactions that most people do in their lifetime. Preparing yourself to be positioned correctly to achieve the goal is a key factor for a successful and rewarding experience. 

There are definite "steps" that pave the way for home ownership,  whether it's your first home or your last home you plan to buy.   Here's the process:

FIRST on the list is to decide what you can afford to pay for your home.  In general, you can afford a home equal in value between two and three times your gross income.   Planning for short fall periods that will require some back up savings is wise.  Minimizing all your short term debt, like credit card debt is smart to consider, because it takes bulk payments to rid yourself of the high interest rate loans such as these.

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  • Consider a savings plan that will allow you enough money for a down payment.  Depending on how much you plan to spend on the purchase price, the down payment should be adequate to secure a good financing scheme with a mortgage lender.   If you have an IRA account, you can use that money you've save to buy your "First Home" without paying a penalty for early withdrawal.
  • Take considerations on how much closing costs will be for things like taxes, attorney's fees, transfer fees, and escrows of insurance funds that may be required by your lender.  A good rule of thumb would be to have an average between 2% to 7% of the home price for these items. 

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SECOND is to decide on a general location to begin your home searchesThink about the things you like to do for recreation, schools for your children, safety issues concerning traffic and crime.  Research the areas chosen to take into consideration what city, county, and state governments have planned in those areas such as highway construction , or shopping center developments that may have an adverse change to your proposed neighborhoods. 

THIRD, check up on your Credit Scores.  Order your credit reports from the three reporting agencies.  They are:  Equifax, Transunion, and Experian.   Go over your credit reports for accuracy and if you find any errors, get them corrected at once.  Since a credit report tracks a history of your bad debts, any late payments and all other credit activity, it's vital that this report be a good as it can be.  Getting a "FICO Credit Score" is what your mortgage lender will use to determine what mortgage you may or may not qualify for.  Your "Score Power" is the key to the best interest rates and whether you can even obtain a mortgage.   

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FOURTH is scheduling a meeting, either by telephone or in person, with a reputable Mortgage Lender.  This is a crucial step, unless you are paying cash for your home purchase.   Before you even begin "Searching for a home to Purchase", you must know what Mortgage Loan you will qualify for.  Sellers will not consider an "Offer to Purchase" without a "Pre-Approved Letter" from your Mortgage Lender, stating that you are financially able to purchase the home.   Some things you will want to gather for your meeting are:   W-2 forms,  copies of at least one pay stub, account numbers, and copies of two to four months of bank or credit union statements.

FIFTH is to calculate the costs of home ownership.   You should add up items like (1) Property Taxes, (2) Homeowners Insurance, (3) maintenance and utilities, and (4) Homeowners Association Dues (if applicable) 

Turtles on a Log

SIXTH is to contact a REALTOR® and preferably one that is an "Accredited Buyer's Agent" (ABR®) from  the Real Estate Buyer's Agency Council of the National Association of REALTORS®. 

I would like to help you reach your real estate goals.   Please visit our website at Park Place Real Estate . Perform Free SEARCHES for homes for sale in Winston Salem and the Greater NC Triad Region.  There is no obligation to ever purchase or sell any real estate by using this free service.   I'd love to hear from you and answer any questions you may have about real estate!   EMAIL Me Today.  

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Posted by

Doug Patterson  ABR® 

Park Place Real Estate,  Broker-In-Charge

SFR       HUD Certified Broker




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