Determine your GoalsPerhaps you just want a 1-bedroom condo for the next two years. Or, maybe you are about to expand your family and need 5 bedrooms and a “forever family home.” Whatever the case, we think you need to stop and consider your financial, career and personal goals before you jump into the home buying process.
Prepare Your Financial
Analysis Determine How
Much You Can AffordHand-in-hand with understanding your goals comes the analysis of your financial situation. Check your credit report and score. Work through your personal and family balance sheet and figure how just how much you can afford. A great place to start is using an online mortgage calculator to help you calculate an affordable monthly mortgage payment. Don’t forget that there are other monetary costs in your home buying budget besides the purchase payment and/or down payment. Closing costs, attorney and inspection fees, remodeling costs and new furniture should all be considered when you are determining how much you can afford.
Identify the Right Lender;
Secure Pre-ApprovalThe Brett Dickinson Team believes that you should shop around for the right lender. Get some referrals from friends, family and colleagues, and talk to at least three mortgage lenders. Make sure you disclose everything you need to and ask all the questions you want. Once you find the right lender for you, try to get an actual pre-approval. Your offers will be much more impressive because your financing will be guaranteed.
Make an Offer, or TwoOur job is to help you find the home of your dreams at the right price and in the right timeframe. But, typically, it takes a bit of back and forth before you and seller agree to a price. Our team’s experienced professionals advise our clients to not be afraid to make an offer when they find a home they like. There are no strings attached. Realtors® like those at The Brett Dickinson Team guide you through the process and provide you with prices of comparable homes and other important market data so you can make solid offers. But, don’t be surprised when the seller makes a counter-offer. Your Realtor®will know how to proceed in negotiating through the offer/counter-offer process and resulting agreement terms.
Begin Your Home SearchThe process of buying a home can seem daunting and time-consuming, so it makes sense to take some time before you begin your search to determine the things that you need to have. Do you want an open concept layout? How important is a big kitchen? Do you need a large yard for kids or pets? What about number of bedrooms and bathrooms and closet space? After you compile your list of “must have’s,” don’t forget to think about the types of neighborhoods you like, the schools in the area, the convenience to your workplace and local shopping and more. You will save a lot of time and heartache if you plan ahead for your budget and home needs.
Find the Right Realtor
One of the best ways to find a real estate professional is to ask your friends, colleagues, and family. In fact, real estate is a largely “referral” business. Check out your local paper – which Realtor®seems to know the markets you are targeting. In addition, we believe you may want to interview at least 3 Realtors®- after all, you will be working with this person, or team, for a good while.
Our experts at The Brett Dickinson Team are always ready to answer the following questions, at a minimum:
1) What is your experience in helping buyers find a home?
2) Will you be showing me properties, submitting offers and negotiating the deal? Or, will one of your associates be doing those activities?
3) How many buyers are you working with right now?
4) What will it cost me to buy my property?
5) Can you provide me with 3 references?
Conduct InspectionsOnce your offer has been accepted and you deposit your earnest money into an escrow account, the process of conducting inspections on the home begins. Your Realtor® will guide you through the process and handle almost everything. You want to make sure the home is in the right condition before you make the purchase.
Close on Your New HomeCongratulations! Your experienced Realtor® and home loan lender have helped you through the entire buying process. All that is left is to move in, unpack and begin your new life in your new home.