Buying a home is an intimidating and stressful process, especially if you haven’t done it before. It can be a very emotional time because you may have your heart set on a home, only for it to be completely outside of your budget. Here at Invictus, we want to help! We consider our clients to be a part of our family, and we want you to have all the tools and support necessary when buying a home, whether it’s your first or if it’s you tenth! We want to walk you through the process of buying a home so everything goes as smooth as possible, and although you may not find your ten-bedroom Victorian mansion on the beach within your price range, we can help you get one step closer to your dream.
An important thing to remember when buying a home is that it is an expensive investment. You’ll need to assess your financial situation long before you can buy. Saving for a down payment and closing costs is just one step to the long process in financially securing a home. Be prepared to check your credit score. Your credit score is the numerical value of your financial health, and it is a way for lenders to make fair decisions on creditworthiness. Although you don’t need to have a perfect credit score to buy a home, it is important to note that a good credit score can save you money in mortgage and insurance rates. If your credit score is on the lower side, it may benefit you to spend some time raising your credit score so you can obtain some saving. (click here to read our article with tips on how to improve you credit score!) While saving financial and improving your credit, use the time to research the housing market in the area you want to move to. Things like average mortgage rates, location, school districts, crime rates, and unemployment rates all play a crucial factor in the value of a home and can tell you about how much money you should be saving. You can establish a budget and daily habits that can help you plan accordingly for you home buying experience.
Another important thing to expect when buying a home is deciding on a mortgage loan. You’ll need do research the different types of mortgages as well as establish which organization and lender will work best with your financial situation now and in the future. You’ll need to know things like interest rates, the APR (Annual Percentage Rate), and the loan terms and length before you agree to any mortgage. Once you’ve gotten a mortgage that you’re happy with, be sure to get a mortgage preapproval letter. This shows seller that you’re serious about purchasing a home and will help you stand out from other possible buyers (read our article on the different types of mortgages to help you start with your search). During this stage, you can also start finding a real estate expert to work with! Having a real estate professional, like a Real Estate Agent or Broker, makes the home buying process less stressful and less intimidating. You should never feel pressured to buy a home that is out of your budget, and it’s okay to speak with several different real estate professionals to find someone who you would be happy working with (read our article on the difference between real estate professionals).
Looking at Houses
This part can be fun but can still be very stressful. You’ve already given some thought as to watch sort of home you’re looking for, or which area or region that you would like to live in, but now you have to be open to comprise and be flexible. The housing market is very competitive, and depending on where you would like to live you may not find exactly what you were looking for in the area that you wanted to live in. Don’t give up! If you have time, be patient and wait for a home in the area. If you are in a time-sensitive situation, you’ll want to look at different areas where the competition for homes isn’t as competitive. Have your real estate professional research any property you are interested in so you have a clearer view of the value of the home. Listing prices are not always guaranteed, and you may have to offer more depending on if, and how many, other buyers are actively interested. If you have a strict budget, be ready to decline counteroffers for overpriced properties because you don’t want to secure a home that will only put you deep into financial debt, even if it seems like the perfect home.
Once your offer is accepted, set up an inspection to make sure that the property is in acceptable and livable conditions. Things like serious structural problems can greatly impact the livability of a home and you don’t want to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for renovations after only recently purchasing the home. Once the property is inspected, get it appraised so you can pay a fair price. Remember that the value of the home will determine your mortgage rate with the house being used as collateral in case you default on your loan. If the appraisal determines the house is worth more or less than you offer, that will affect your mortgage rate and whether you’ll need to renegotiate.
The last step is a walkthrough and closing on your new home. Although renovations aren’t done during this phase, minor repairs can be done, like fixing cabinets and doors to close properly, etc. Once everything has been approved, you’ll be able to get your keys! This is a time-consuming process and varies from person to person depending on a number of factors but communicating with your real estate professional and seller effectively will make everything run smoothly. Buying a home is a big decision that takes place in a competitive market. Invictus has real estate professionals that have done the research to find you the best home based on your requirements and can help you make informed offers based on our experience while also easing the burden of paperwork when preparing you for closing. Let us help you find the best home for you. Contact us to speak with a real estate expert today!