Whether you are a first time homebuyer or a seasoned buyer a home purchase can be a little scary! Even if you have rode this bike before things change. Let #RaleighRed help you understand the home buying process step by step and get you on your way to that home of your dreams.
Did you know that when buying a home you need a team? Do you know who's on your team? Here is a more in-depth look at who you need on your team and what role each will play in your purchase. (hint: click the link!)
Step 1: First and MOST important? A Mortgage Lender!
A mortgage lender will be able to tell you how much home you can afford. It really isn't as easy as just thinking, "Well, I pay X now so I am looking for a mortgage payment about the same." A mortgage lender will do an in-depth analysis of your financials including
- your credit report,
- credit score and
- your ratios of income vs. expenses.
There are strict guidelines as to what a borrower can borrow and depending on the outcome of the above different programs (FHA, Conventional, USDA, DPA programs, etc) may be better for you than another. As you can see, a Mortgage Lender is a critical first step in the home buying process. It would be so disheartening for you to start looking at homes, find "the" one only to find out that you can't qualify. Trust me, I've seen it happen and it isn't pretty. You will also find that many Realtors®, including myself, will simply not work with you until you have been pre-qualified. We don't want to waste your time or ours.
Don't forget - shop around for your lender! Compare rates, compare programs and most importantly find a lender that "speaks your language" and that you are comfortable with.
So, you've got that pre-qualification letter in hand from your trusted lender - now what?
Step 2: Find your Realtor®
It seems that almost everyone has a real estate license these days. I am sure you may even have a friend or family member that holds a license but do they "practice" real estate? Just like your lender (Step 1), you should shop around for a Realtor® that aligns with your core beliefs, understands what you want and need and one that you are comfortable with. A well-versed, well-educated and "practicing" Realtor® is going to be able to help you understand the local real estate market and guide you through your wants vs. needs.
When you have found the Realtor® that you feel best fits what you are looking for in a professional you will want to discuss Agency with them. Did you know that in the state of North Carolina ALL agents work for the seller? Yes, indeed! Until Agency is established be careful what you say and do..... Why? (Hint: click the link!)
Once you have found your Realtor® and established Agency with them you are on your way to Steps 3 - 5. What are they? Hold tight.......more in the series coming soon!
It would be silly of me not to mention that if you are looking for a Realtor® in the Raleigh area I would be happy to discuss your options with you. I can help you find the right lender for you by providing contacts that I work with closely for you to interview. I also practice Buyer Agency so I would be happy to review the Agency Agreement with you and explain how I can help you through the home buying process. I'll even share Steps 3-5 with you early - consider yourself moved to the head of the class!