fill
fill
fill
Janet Rendle
Mobile Phone:
(845) 699-8841
fill
fill
fill
fill
Janet Rendle
fill
Mobile Phone:
(845) 699-8841
fill
fill
fill
fill
fill
fill
fill
fill
fill
fill
fill
fill
fill
fill
fill
fill
fill
fill
Buyer FAQs
fill
Home Purchase Guide
fill
Home-Buying Mistakes
fill
Seller FAQs
fill
Selling for Top Dollar!
fill
Selling First Impressions
fill
Real Estate Glossary
fill
About Weichert
fill
fill
fill

 


What To Do Before Buying Your First Home

 

Are you tired of renting? Do the following names ring a bell: Chip and Joanna Gaines, Jonathan and Drew Scott? Tarek and Christina? If you can answer in the affirmative to all of the above, then you probably have the HGTV channel on 24/7 and you pass the “I am itching to buy a house” test.  I know that excitement and anxiousness make this easier said than done, but it is extremely important to take care of four things BEFORE you officially begin the house-hunting process.

 Start saving for a down payment and closing costs.  Unless you are independently wealthy (and kudos to you if you are), it is becoming increasingly difficult for buyers to put the ideal 20% down when purchasing a home.  In fact, it is more of a myth these days that you need to reach this magical percentage.  While there may be some programs geared toward specific groups of buyers for 0% financing, you should be prepared to put down a minimum of 3% with the understanding that a 5% deposit is the more likely scenario.  In addition to the down payment, be prepared to shell out anywhere between $500- $1,000 (depending on the size of the home) for inspections as soon as your offer has been accepted.  Money due at closing will consist of the bulk of the deposit, lawyer fees (including title searches, surveys, etc.), mortgage lender fees, and anywhere between 6 to 12 months worth of property taxes.  This money does not include moving costs, furniture, appliances, and other items that you may need to purchase almost as soon as those shiny metal keys are dropped into your eager hands.  If I have not scared you off yet, then you are one step closer to buying a house.

The next hurdle can also take quite a bit of time and energy depending on your current situation.  Improving your credit score is extremely important because your goal is to get the lowest mortgage loan interest rate that you possibly can.  The higher your credit score, the lower the interest rate which could end up saving you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your 30-year mortgage.  Credit repair is a mysterious and lengthy process; it can involve disputing errors on your credit report and making sure that you consistently make all of your payments on time.  Unfortunately, there is no exact science to this one.  It is not unlike the laws of attraction amongst human beings.  Some may favor a certain hair color or have facial hair preferences, but more often than not attraction is a peculiar thing.

 With your savings in tact and a solid credit score in hand, it is time to speak with a loan officer or mortgage banker to get a pre-approval letter (this is one step beyond pre-qualification and therefore a more impressive piece of paper).  As soon as you express interest in a house, a realtor will ask if you have been pre-approved.  In today’s market where houses are flying off the shelves like collapsible cell phone grips, you want to be able to respond immediately by saying “yes” and producing the letter for all to see.  This is your way of announcing that you are a serious buyer.

Last but certainly not least, you need to figure out what you can afford.  Many of us have champagne taste on a shoestring budget, so it is important to do some homework before you start salivating over houses that are outside of your comfort zone.  Wouldn’t we all like a master bedroom suite, recessed lighting, granite countertops, and an open concept floor plan?  Save yourself and your real estate agent some time by speaking with a banker to discuss your options based on your financial situation.  Find two to three properties that you like and provide the loan officer with the list price and current taxes.  He or she will then be able to do some calculations that will help you figure out a monthly payment that you can afford.  Be wary of those online mortgage calculators which cannot be trusted one hundred percent of the time.  This is not an easy process, but it is certainly a rewarding one.  Good things come to those who put in the time and effort.  Good luck and happy hunting!

 6/19/2018