Buying a home takes time, so it’s essential to be prepared. Don’t worry; your lender and agent will help you along the way.
If financing a home can take two months or more. There are many stages or steps involved. Finding a lender, then going shopping, making the offer, setting up inspections, getting insurance, working with a title company, and the final step is closing the deal. If you are looking to buy a home in the next six months to a year and you will be financing, the time to start preparing is now. Again, don’t worry. Your lender and agent will help you.
Finding a Lender
The first step to starting the home buying process is to contact a lender to determine how much money you will have to spend or how much you can afford. There is no point in shopping for a home if you cannot buy one. It wouldn’t be wise to look at homes over $300,000 if your lender will only loan you $175,000. It would be unpleasant to find the home of your dreams and then find out you cannot get it. So start with finding out what you will be able to finance, and then you can go shopping for homes in that price range.
Not all lenders are the same. Find one that is going to be helpful and informative to you. Your lender should provide you with information on what you are eligible for, and if you are not qualified, he should be able to tell you what you need to do to become eligible.
If you need help locating a suitable lender, you can also ask your real estate agent if they have a few preferred lenders they can recommend.
How much down payment do you need?
Not all mortgages require a lot of money down. Be sure to ask your lender what your options are. If you are a first-time buyer, be sure to let them know.
Some lenders offer particular loans for first-time home buyers, and some do not. The state of Florida provides many down payment assistance resources. You will want to see what is available to you in your condition.
You will not need any money down if you are eligible for a VA loan. That’s right, No Money down.
Poor Credit Score
You can qualify for a mortgage with a credit score as low as 580, so don’t let your credit score deter you. Suppose your credit score is below the criteria needed for the mortgage that is right for you. In that case, your lender can sometimes view the report and determine if there are things on the information they can have removed to increase your score or give tips on what you can do to improve it. This can take time, so if you want to purchase a home, you must give yourself time to work through these steps. You will need patience and perseverance, but a home is worth it.
Getting a Real Estate Agent
There are two types of real estate agents. A listing agent– one who specializes in listing homes for sale and A buyers agent- one who helps buyers in the process of purchasing a home. It’s important to note that both listing agents and buyer agents get paid by the Seller.
Your agent can and or should be able to assist you throughout the entire process. They can help you with finding a lender, shopping for the home, writing and submitting the offer to purchase contract, scheduling and providing you with necessary information on what inspections are needed or that you may want, and working with the title company so that you obtain a title that is free and clear of liens, working with the lender. Hence, the lender has the information they need, etc. They do a lot of work for you, and you must be loyal to them. Work with one agent. Whenever you have a question, call your agent.
Choosing an Agent
A good agent will be willing to answer your questions and aid you in the process where needed. You should be able to reach them at any time. If your agent doesn’t answer your calls or emails consistently and doesn’t follow up in a reasonable amount of time ( within an hour or two), you should probably choose another agent. Your agent should always be willing and able to help. If your agent doesn’t know the answer to your question, they should be able to find out for you or steer you in the right direction.
Finding a Home
It is hard for an agent to find what you are looking for if you do not know. An agent can search by price. They can explore by location as well. So if you are looking for a home in Sarasota under 300,000, the age of it can search and send you a list of homes under 300,000. There are more details the agent may need to know. Is a garage vital to you? How about a pool? How about the school district? How many bedrooms do you need? Do you want a tub in the master bath, or is just a shower OK? Whatever is important to you, you should tell them. It will make finding the right home in the right location much more accessible. I have had buyers that spent weeks and months looking because they were unsure what they wanted, and it kept changing. The site changed, the price changed, and the size changed. Sometimes specific areas have little available in the price and size you need. Finding the right home could be easy and sometimes difficult, depending on need and availability.
Afraid of Home Maintenance?
There are a lot of older homes out there. If you like older homes, you may want to search for one in which the seller has done some maintenance over the years. Have they updated the roof, the ac or heating system, replaced any plumbing, etc. I have seen some newly renovated homes have some significant problems. A home warranty is always a good choice when buying an older home.
Suppose you are afraid of having to do any maintenance or cannot find a home you like, you may want to consider New Construction. Your agent can help with this as well. They should have some local builders and know of available land that can bring you to model homes. Some builders have floor plans already designed and priced so you can find a home in your price range. They may have even started the construction process on a home, so you don’t have to wait as long. Buying new means everything is under warranty.
by S Allaire