Homeownership is a marathon, but homebuying is a sprint. Maybe you came up short in previous attempts. Maybe you “just weren’t ready.” But if you’ve decided that now is the time, here are key ways to get ahead right off the starting block. Of course, working with a real estate agent like myself will offer the support you need, but it never hurts to arm yourself with your own insights as well.
Gather financial information
Too many potential buyers find the house and only then worry about financials. That might be why they’re only potential buyers. Instead, first take an X-ray of your financial life.
Put exact numbers on the figures you’ve probably been estimating up to now…
— What do you make every month?
— How much do you spend every month?
— How much do you have in your down payment account?
— What are your assets and liabilities?
— How much are you carrying in debt — credit card and otherwise?
— What big expenses or windfalls (like a raise or bonus) do you expect in the next six months or year?
— What’s your ideal monthly house payment?
While you’re at it, this is the time to assemble information that potential mortgage lenders will need. Get a ring binder and include two years of tax returns, three months’ pay stubs, and three months’ statements for all of your checking, savings, investment and retirement accounts.
Get preapproved for a mortgage
In most cases, you can’t get the actual mortgage until you have a house to plug into the equation. But you can get the next best thing: Preapproval, which “carries more weight with the prospective seller” than a prequalification. Preapproval means the bank has pulled your credit, looked at your financial records and is likely to offer you a loan of up to a specific sum.
Shop around and get preapprovals from several banks. If you make those applications within a 45-day period, your credit score will count them as one application. You will want to decide how much you want to spend on a home. It might be a lower number than the amount the bank is willing to lend.
Line up your helpers
When you find the right home, you want to be able to act quickly. One key move: Research and line up pros you’ll need to speed that sale — like home inspectors, pest inspectors, insurance providers and real estate agents — in advance. You can do the same with services you’ll need, like moving companies, cleaning services, locksmiths, handymen and contractors.
Learn your local market
As a buyer you should now be educating yourself about the market. And as you learn more about your target market, narrow that focus to a few towns, zip codes or neighborhoods – a small radius – to get familiar with the market in the area you want to buy in. You will know you’re ready when you can walk into a house in your target market, look at what it offers and know how much it should cost.
I would be happy to provide you with a list of available homes in your target area and price range to help you prepare for one of the largest purchases you will ever make. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about buying a home.
As a premier real estate agent in this area, I look forward to serving you and will be happy to provide all the information you need on homes for sale in Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Bixby, Jenks, Owasso and surrounding areas. Buying or selling a home is a complex process and I am prepared to do whatever it takes to make your next real estate transaction a stress-free process. Whether you are a first time home-buyer, selling your home or a veteran property investor, get the results you want and deserve and work with a professional Realtor who will Go The Distance For You.
Posted on June 14, 2016 at 12:11 pm by John Cantero (918) 313-0408