Many new homebuyers (and some “experienced” buyers) aren’t prepared for the challenges of buying a home. It can be a bit overwhelming and frustrating. Here’s a list of common considerations that can derail the process:
Get loan pre-approval.
Your lender can review the various loan programs with you and help you decide what may work best for your situation. After working out your loan options you should know how much home you can afford. This will allow us to narrow the focus of your home search to only those homes that fit your price range.
Having loan pre-approval will allow us to move quickly when submitting offers (you need a lender Loan Status Report to accompany each offer). Loan pre-approval will convey to the seller that you are a serious buyer, improving your negotiating position.
After loan pre-approval, avoid any major purchases, especially those using credit cards or requiring new credit accounts. This will have a negative impact on your credit score and can invalidate your loan pre-approval.
Research the home locations you are considering.
Phoenix is a large metropolitan area. Do you want to live on the west side, southeast valley, Tempe, Maricopa, Ahwatukee? Consider your work location commute times, schools you prefer, etc. Drive the areas, visit the schools.
As a Realtor, I must abide by Fair Housing laws and can’t recommend one area over another based on my view of crime, good schools, or demographics. There are on-line forums that may help provide insight from others, city crime tracking sites, and school ranking sites. Once you settle on a general location, I can help you find a home that meets your needs.
Be prepared for disappointment.
If you are looking for low cost bank owned homes, be prepared to be one of many bidding for these homes. Competition is fierce and your odds of success are lower for bank homes, especially if you can’t offer cash for those under $100K.
If you are considering short sales, you must have an abundance of patience. The odds of the seller’s lender approving your purchase is low, and expect any answer to take several weeks to months.
Even dealing with “regular” sellers can be challenging, especially if they have not priced their home to current market realities.
Even with a fully accepted offer, things can go wrong.
The inspection may turn up issues that can’t be resolved with the seller. The appraisal may come in too low. Your financing rate may go up if not locked and push you out of your price range. If a condo, owner occupancy may not be high enough for the lender’s requirements. You may encounter title issues that can’t be resolved.
Be careful with planning your move.
Do you have to give notice to a landlord? What happens if the closing gets delayed? Try to have backup plans available.
But, all things considered…
All of this can be scary, but a big part of my role is to help you get through the bumps in the road to buying your home. Every purchase has it’s challenges, but I strive to work through them with you so we get to the end goal of getting your new home as smoothly as possible. Let me know if I can help you.