If you’re thinking about buying a home in Maryland near Fort Meade, there are some things you’ll need to know to make the process flow!
Plan your perfect payment
What amount are you comfortable paying for a monthly mortgage? In this market we can likely find you a home for a monthly payment very close to what you are paying for rent. But, if you have to go a little higher, remember that the vast majority of your mortgage payment is tax deductible mortgage interest. Real estate taxes are also deductible. Stepping into home ownership comes with amazing tax benefits. You may want to talk to a tax professional to see exactly how it affects your tax liability.
Prequalify with a local lender
This is so important and takes just a few minutes on the phone or a quick application on the Internet to find out what your purchase budget CAN be. But based on your budget planning, you may want to purchase below your approved limit. Or, if you’ve planned a little higher than where you qualify, this is the time where we define the homes to show you. We cannot show you homes until you’ve taken this step.
Down payment and Closing Costs
When you prequalify, you’ll also get a summary of typical sale expenses including the necessary down-payment and closing costs. Down-payment programs are available to assist you with that portion if you qualify. Otherwise you’ll need between 3.5% and 20% of your purchase price to put down. If you’re using a VA loan, your down-payment is zero, but someone will have to pay closing costs. The market is still pretty hot and it’s difficult but not impossible to get sellers to cover those expenses. We’ll discuss your budget and make sure that every offer conforms to your needs. If you need closing help, you’ll need some patience, but we’ll get it done for you! If you don’t need closing help
Defining your area and “must have” home features
Our team handles Anne Arundel and surrounding counties. We usually start with commuting distance as that’s a big factor for most people. But you’ll want to write down some things that are important to you. As a starter, what do you want in a neighborhood? Do you need amenities like a community pool, a little acreage, a rural feel? We know the area and can use the information you provide to match you with the community that most closely fits your needs. How many bedrooms and baths do you need. Plan ahead on this if you intend to hold the home long term. How will your needs change over the years. A 2 bedroom, 1 bath home might fit your needs now but will it in 5 years? Selling and moving up is always a great option but you might not need to if you plan it out.
We can start looking for homes after you prequalify, but you’ll want to keep going with your lender to provide documentation they need to get you into pre-approval status. Why is this important? Well in a multiple offer situation, time to close can be a key factor for a seller. If you choose a vacant home, the chances are very good that the owner wants to close quickly. If you’ve only gotten to the prequalification stage, you’re going to need about 30 days to close. If you’re pre-approved you can close much more quickly. It’s a critical step that we highly recommend.
This is the fun stuff. Viewing homes and choosing the one that works best for you. You can start that search right online with us at www.FortMeadeHomes.com. If we’re narrowing down your choices based on your “must haves” this shouldn’t be a lengthy process. What can slow us down in today’s market is multiple offers and there is a real possibility that you may have to make offers on several homes. But I can tell you from personal experience that you always end up with the one that was meant for you!
Getting to closing
This part is easy, and we’ve got you covered. You’re going to need a home inspection (and other systems as they apply such as septic/well, radon), termite inspection, a survey, and an appraisal. We’ll be with you for the home inspection and we’ll use the inspectors report to request any major structural or mechanical issues be handled at the seller’s expense unless the home is sold “as-is” in which case the inspectors report is your guide to determine if you want to purchase the house with any noted repairs being your responsibility after closing. As-is is not the norm but it happens. You won’t hear much about the termite inspection unless the home has termites or other pests. Those are typically handled at seller expense. The survey and appraisal as well will be done behind the scene, and we’ll advise you if there are any issues there.
This is a happy day. Unless you’ve offered the seller a rent back, you’ll be getting your keys today. That home is yours and you’ve completed the journey. Maryland settlements are effective the day you sign your loan docs. Champagne anyone?
When it’s time to buy a home near Fort Meade, you can count on The Roskelly Team to guide you through the process and make it as stress free as possible. We want to help you find your perfect place!