When buying a home, there are a few things to consider:
- What monthly payment can I afford?
- What am I looking for in a home?
- Should I work with a REALTOR®?
- Once I find a home to purchase, what do I need to do next?
- How much cash do I need at closing?
- How do I obtain a mortgage loan?
Unless you are able to pay cash for your home, most buyers will need to go through the process of applying for a mortgage. By contacting a mortgage loan specialist before you begin your search, you are able to determine the amount of loan for which you qualify. Typically, a borrower is pre-qualified for a loan that amounts to 28%, or less, of their gross monthly income. In addition, if you know the amount of the monthly payment you would be comfortable paying, a mortgage specialist can calculate the price range for your home search. Getting pre-qualified for a loan also increases your chances of your offer being accepted. A seller is more likely to accept an offer from a buyer who already has funding versus one who still needs to get a loan. If you choose to use a REALTOR®, he or she can recommen
d one or more mortgage sources to you. CENTURY 21 The Moore Group Sales Associates work with numerous banks and mortgage companies*. Please refer to our Financing page for more information.
Prior to getting pre-qualified, you should obtain a copy of your credit report so that there are not any negative surprises when you are ready to apply for your loan. Correct any errors that you may discover on your credit report. Also, you will want to reduce your consumer debt as much as possible by paying down credit card balances.
By going through the pre-qualification process, your mortgage specialist can provide you with an estimate of how much cash you will need for the sales transaction. Cash is needed for the down payment, earnest money, and closing costs of the transaction.
Once you have selected an agent and determined what you are looking for in a home, it is time to begin your active search for homes that interest you. Based on your criteria that you provide your REALTOR®, he/she will be able to search their listing database for homes that meet your needs. Also use our Property Search feature to find homes which you’d like to further explore with your REALTOR®.
While visiting properties that are on the market, compare homes. Every home is unique! Even if every home you visit has all of the main criteria you are looking for, each will have different characteristics. Bring your Amenities Checklist with you to all homes that you visit. Check off which features each house has. Make notes on each home of what you like and dislike.
Additional things to consider when touring homes:
- Cost of upkeep and utilities
- Amount of maintenance required
- Cost of updating or decorating
- Homeowner’s dues
- Traffic patterns in the neighborhood
Taking notes and using your checklist will help you later when you can sit down and compare properties. By comparing notes, this will help to prevent you from making an emotional and impulsive decision.
After and offer has been accepted, arrange to have a professional come out to inspect your home. They are able to spot electrical, plumbing, and structural problems that may not be noticeable to you at first glance. The home inspection is not required, but it is in your best interest to have one done on the home so that you do not receive any surprises once you move in. This is an expense incurred by the buyer and is included in your closing costs. You may also need to get a pest inspection on the property to make sure there is no structural damage to the property caused by termites. Your REALTOR® can usually make a recommendation of a reputable inspector.
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