Before your search starts for a home, you need to first evaluate your finances. It is always a good idea, if you haven't done so already, to make a household budget. Enter your monthly income and subtract from it all recurring monthly bills, those bills that fluctuate, you will need to estimate the average monthly cost, not forgetting extras such as gasoline, groceries and entertainment. The worst thing you can do for yourself is to overextend your financial resources. This could result in your house owning you, instead of you owning the house.
Another good idea is to check your credit rating. Find out if there are any issues that need to be resolved before you go to a lender. You may get your credit report from Equifax, Experian or Trans Union . The following link is to the website for the Federal Trade Commission for information regarding credit reports, http://www.ftc.gov/. If you're uncomfortable with Internet security, consider ordering your credit report by phone or mail. To order by phone, call 877-322-8228. To order by mail, print out the request form from https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp, fill it out and send it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
Once you have taken these very important steps you'll be better informed as to how much house you can afford to invest in. The next step would be to meet with a lender of your choice, or if you would like, your realtor can provide you assistance in locating lenders for you to choose from. You'll need to have your financial information readily available for the lender, and if you choose to, they can do the credit check for you. After you are prequalified to receive the amount you'll need to purchase your home... you'll be ready to start the search for your dream home!
Having the right realtor is very important. You want someone who will be looking out for your best interest at all times. Someone who will listen carefully to what your likes and dislikes are; what your heart desires in a home. You need a realtor that isn't all about the sell and who cares about you; not a realtor concerned only with selling you a house, but one who is representing you, by always looking out for your best interest. A realtor who will help to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground by showing you only those homes in-line with your finances, as well as fulfilling your needs and wants in a home.
Now that you know how much house you can afford to invest in, and you have chosen a realtor to work for you, the next step would be to evaluate your desires and your needs in a home. The style of the house: Ranch, Traditional, Victorian, Log, Bungalow, Cape Cod, Colonial and so on; whether you would like a one story or a two story; a basement, finished or unfinished , slab or a crawl space; the exterior, if you want brick, stucco, wood, vinyl, stone; the type of flooring, if you prefer carpet or hardwood; is a garage important to you; closet space; whether or not you want or need a separate dining room; fireplace; deck, patio or screened in porch; number of bedrooms; number of bathrooms; acreage, etc. Decide which features are the most important to you and your family.
Home Sweet Home
Once you've made a decision on the home you'd like to invest in, make sure you get a qualified inspector to check out the home, have a termite inspection completed, and always check out the neighborhood and make sure you do it not just during the day, but at night on weekends is a good idea, to find out if anyone in the neighborhood is a little noisier than you'd like, and if you have children, you should always check out the schools servicing the area.
Transactions don't always go smoothly, at times there will be ups and downs while everyone involved in the transaction pulls it all together. There are so many people involved from the seller, you the buyer, realtor, inspector, lender, attorneys and more. Your realtor is there to ease any stress brought on by the process of purchasing a home; keeping you informed throughout the entire process and thoroughly explaining anything that you don't understand.
Note: It is always important to remember, that once you have been preapproved for your loan, do not make any financial changes, such as purchasing anything on credit, avoid paying late on any of your credit card accounts and other monthly bills, and try to maintain the balance in your checking account that you had when your loan was preapproved. You'll also need to remember that once you've found the home that you want, you'll need to be prepared to pay earnest money, which will go towards some of the costs you may incur at the closing of your new home.
Henry County Links:
- Henry County Chamber of Commerce
- Henry County Board of Commissioners
- Henry Daily Herald
- Henry County Board of Education
- Henry Medical Center
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