Buying a house, especially for the first time, can be a daunting undertaking. It has the potential to be a long, complicated process which makes it easy for mistakes to happen along the way. There are a number of things that can easily be overlooked, but are easily avoidable.
The Weber Accetta Group recommends the following tips:
Be sure to select the right agent
Working with an agent is always a great idea – not only do they know the in’s and out’s of the market, but they also help in taking off the stress of the process. However, remember that, like any relationship, there are good matches and not-so-good ones. Get recommendations from friends and family, research agents online, and do not feel strange conducting interviews. You’ll be spending a lot of time with your agent, so make sure you feel 100% comfortable!
Not getting pre-approved for a home loan
Even if you know that you have the financial wherewithal to afford a mortgage, you shouldn’t skip getting pre-approved for a home loan. Having a mortgage pre-approval letter signals to a seller that you are serious about your offer. Not having a pre-approval can mean the difference between your offer being accepted and the seller choosing a competing offer instead.
Shop around for a loan
While you’re in the process of getting pre-approved, you should also be shopping around for a lender. Fees and rates can differ widely from one lender to another. Some may offer better services or products. You should plan on looking into all your options, including national banks, regional banks, your credit union, and online lenders. This is one of many areas where you can use your real estate agent as a resource – they generally have trusted lenders that they can recommend!
Check your credit report
You may think you have excellent credit, but that does not always mean your credit report reflects it. It is estimated that nearly 42 million consumers have errors on their credit reports. Make sure you are not one of them by checking your report at least three months before house shopping. This allows enough time to fix errors if you find them.
Stay within your budget!
Keep in mind additional costs like taxes, insurance, utilities and fees. Also, stay realistic about your future income – avoid putting yourself in a situation where you have to stress over your monthly mortgage payment. Choose a home that fits comfortably within your means.
Be cautious in taking on new debt
Your credit report is used to determine what kind of loan you qualify for. If you make any large purchases with credit, such as a car, before your loan closes, your loan could be denied. Even slight changes in your credit ratios could cause an underwriter to deny your loan. Save those big purchases for after closing.
Try to avoid getting too emotional
A home will most likely be the most expensive purchase you ever make. Also, beyond the financial investment, it is the place where you will see your yourself and your family develop over the next few years. However, remind yourself that there are many variables and uncertainties in the home-buying process, so it is best to maintain some emotional distance. Stay involved and persistent, but not too invested or attached! (A hard balance to strike, we know!)
Remember, the Weber Accetta Group is eager to be here for you during the home buying or selling process! We pride our selves on easing the stress off our clients and gracefully guiding this huge life transition. Never hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns!