It’s time to take the next step and buy your first home. Where to begin, you ask? By and large we find ourselves scouring the internet for real estate listings and then driving by potential homes only to find that it’s been sold, or doesn’t live up to those beautiful online photos.
Here’s the good news! Before getting too wrapped up in the home searching process, there are a few steps you should take to save yourself time, money and lots of disappointment.
First and foremost: Prepare Your Credit for Mortgage Approval. Now that you’ve decided to turn those rent payments into mortgage payments, the natural tendency may be to start looking for your dream home. But taking a step back to analyze your finances will be of absolute benefit to you when it comes to the mortgage approval part of the process!
The preliminary home search stage is the perfect time to check your credit score and the contents of your report. If needed, you may dispute any errors that you find. A mortgage professional can counsel you in this leg of the journey! Additionally, starting the credit review process gives you time to pay off any outstanding debt (especially those with high balances and high interest rates), but only as recommended by your loan officer. Getting a handle on your capital early in the game reduces your debt-to-income ratio, giving you more buying power and far more confidence.
Next, it’s time to: Determine How Much Home You Can Afford. After taking a close look at your finances you’ll have a better picture of your budget, which is probably higher than expected! There are many online sites with interactive calculators that provide a general estimate of your home affordability – but the best way to get sound advice on the home buying process leads us to the final step…
Find a Trusted Realtor: Not only does finding a trusted realtor provide you with a skilled professional in your corner, but many real estate agents have a “trusted” network of companies and colleagues that are ready to deliver the best services possible on your new home purchase.
While working with the listing agent may seem convenient for your home purchase, don’t forget that there are buyer’s agents that work directly with the buyer throughout the purchase process. This agent has the best interest of the buyer in mind, rather that juggling the loyalties of the buyer and the seller.
Count on your buyer’s agent to represent you while negotiating the home price, facilitating a home inspection - to check for any issues with the home that may not be obvious during the showing, and carefully examining the closing paperwork.
After all of your hard work and dedication to preparing for your first home purchase, you deserve the best potential services, mortgage rates and much more from your agent including: expert negotiating skills, compelling ethics and access to minute-by-minute updates on available properties and the purchase process!
If you have found this information to be helpful, please share it with your friends and family who have embarked on the home buying journey! SI Real Estate Tampa is ready to exceed your expectations!