Steps to Find Your Perfect Home
"Location, location, location."
You must’ve heard that before. But that’s because, much of the time, that’s what real estate is all about. And never is it more true than when you’re buying a home. As a Realtor, I have the local knowledge, skills and experience to help you through the buying process. From property hunting and price negotiations to mortgage offers and legal paperwork, I will help you meet your goals, whatever they may be.
Your dream home is waiting and I can’t wait to help you find it.
Where do you Start?
Buying a home is a process! And the process starts when you wake up one morning and decide “hey, I really hate paying rent — why don’t I just find out if I can buy something.” Believe it or not, this is the only big decision you need to make — everything else just kind of falls into place.
Once you decide that you hate the thought of being a life-long renter, you should first investigate what areas you feel most comfortable in. Most likely, this is where you are now, or close by. I strongly recommend to buyers that they go to open houses in these areas so they at least become familiar with the prices in the area(s) that they are interested in.
Then when you have a fairly good idea of the area or areas you are interested in — then you need to find a Realtor. This is when you contact someone like me! You need to find a Realtor who works in the areas you like, who is patient, and who works with buyers. This is a great point because many buyers don’t even realize that they are working with an agent who normally doesn’t work with buyers. Once you are satisfied that you have found your agent sign a Buyers’ Agency Agreement to they are working for you — Your best interest are not being minded by simply clicking on different listings and going to look at them with different Realtors.
Have your realtor recommend a good mortgage broker or two in the area. Do this before you even think about seriously looking for a property or making an offer. Many buyers think that getting pre-approved is something you do when you decide to make an offer…WRONG! Because getting pre-approved could take a few days, you won’t have that much time when you want to write an offer on a property. If it’s a good property, most likely it will be gone by the time you get pre-approved— and no listing agent will take you seriously without a letter from a mortgage broker saying you qualify for the loan amount.
During this time, you may be able to get your FICO score up (this is the credit score that lenders look at when pre-approving you) by reducing some credit cards, paying off a debt etc. Another good reason to get pre-approved early — it gives you the time to work on your credit, and the better your credit score, the better interest rate you’ll qualify for, and the more money you’ll save.
And, finally, the most important reason to get pre-approved right away is that you’ll know what price of house you can afford. Don’t make the mistake of shopping for houses you can’t afford; or even worse, excluding great houses because you think you can’t afford them, and you actually can.
Spend time looking with your agent, so he/she really gets to know the kind of house you want. This way, your agent can look for you during the week and spot deals for you before the weekend open house. I have found many great deals for clients during the week, say a Tuesday or Wednesday; we made an offer on Thursday and had an accepted offer by Friday. The weekend open house was then canceled.
Be patient. Be realistic. Be positive. Accept the fact that every house has positives and negatives in any price range. You just need to be sure the house you choose has enough positives to make you happy.
Listen to your agent. Listen to yourself. And most importantly, listen to your gut feelings. And relax…it’s actually a lot of fun shopping for a house!