Cheryl Fleming, GRI, ABR's Blog
For those who want to enjoy a quick, seamless homebuying experience, it helps to prepare as much as possible. In fact, those who plan ahead may be better equipped than others to avoid various challenges throughout the homebuying cycle.
From struggling to obtain home financing after a seller accepts your offer to purchase to struggling to find the right home in one of your preferred cities and towns, myriad issues may make it tough for you to achieve your desired results on the homebuying journey. Fortunately, we're here to help you minimize risk as you pursue your dream residence.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you avoid a homebuying fiasco.
1. Establish Homebuying Criteria
If you enter the housing market with criteria in hand, you can narrow your house search. As a result, you may be able to accelerate your journey from homebuyer to homeowner.
Think about where you want to live. Then, you can hone your home search and focus exclusively on houses in specific cities and towns.
It also may be beneficial to establish a list of home must-haves and wants. This list can help you determine exactly what you want to find in your dream house so you can map out your home search accordingly.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
There is no need to wait to get a mortgage. Thankfully, lenders are available that can help you get approved for a mortgage before you kick off your home search.
Meet with a variety of banks and credit unions – you'll be glad you did. This will allow you to learn about the ins and outs of different mortgage options.
Furthermore, don't hesitate to ask questions about all of the mortgage options at your disposal. Because if you understand exactly how a mortgage works, you can make an informed mortgage decision.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
When it comes to avoiding problems during the homebuying journey, it generally is a good idea to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional will offer comprehensive support at each stage of the homebuying journey. By doing so, a real estate agent will ensure you can quickly and effortlessly navigate the housing market.
For example, if you want to find a house in a small town, a real estate agent will help you explore residences that match your expectations. He or she will set up home showings and keep you informed about open house events. Plus, if you identify your dream house, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase.
Let's not forget about the housing market expertise that a real estate agent possesses, either. If you ever have concerns or questions as you pursue your dream house, a real estate agent is happy to address them at any time.
Want to discover your dream residence? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can reduce the risk of encountering problems as you search for your ideal residence.
Dotting the I's and crossing the T's on a home loan application may seem like a daunting task, regardless of whether you're a first-time or experienced homebuyer. However, those who know what to expect when they fill out a home loan application may be better equipped than others to obtain a home loan that matches or exceeds their expectations.
When it comes time to fill out a home loan application, you'll need to provide a variety of information, including:
1. Personal Information
Allocate the necessary time and resources to provide as much personal information as possible on your home loan application. That way, you can make it easy for a lender to create a file for all of your home loan information.
Typically, your lender will ask for your Social Security number, date of birth, current housing information and school information. Provide accurate personal information at all times, and if you're uncertain about how to answer certain questions, consult with a home loan expert for additional support.
2. Employment Information
Where have you worked, and how much have you earned while you've worked for various companies in the past? As you complete your home loan application, you'll need to provide employment information to verify your current and past employment and income.
Usually, a lender will want you to provide the names, addresses and telephone numbers for any employers over the past two years. This will allow a lender to verify employment as part of the home loan application process.
You also will need to offer copies of your two most recent pay stubs to a lender. This will enable the lender to confirm your current income.
Lastly, if you are self-employed, you likely will need to provide a lender with a profit and loss statement for the past two years.
3. Financial Information
Tax forms, bank account information and asset details are some of the key parts of the financial information section of a home loan application.
Ultimately, the financial information section helps a lender verify if you have any outstanding credit lines, rental property and much more. This information will help a lender make an informed decision about your loan application and determine how much you are eligible to receive toward the purchase of a new house.
If you ever have questions at any stage of the home loan application process, don't hesitate to reach out to a home loan expert for help. This professional will be able to offer comprehensive insights to help you complete a timely, accurate home loan application.
In addition, your real estate agent may be able to put you in touch with various lenders in your area. With this housing market professional at your side, you can learn about different lenders and find one that can help you get the right home loan.
Finalizing a home loan application may seem like an uphill struggle. But if you act as a diligent homebuyer, you should have no trouble reviewing all sections of a home loan application. And as a result, you can provide a lender with relevant information and boost your chances of getting the perfect home loan.
The process of buying a house may prove to be long and complicated. Fortunately, there are several steps that you can take before you pursue a home to streamline the homebuying cycle, and these include:
1. Create a Homebuying Checklist
It helps to start the homebuying process with a homebuying checklist in hand. This checklist will enable you to differentiate between home must-haves and wants, resulting in a fast, efficient homebuying journey.
Think about what you require from a home. For example, if you need a house that is located close to your office in the city, you should include this information in your checklist.
Also, if you want a house that features a built-in swimming pool, you can include this information in your homebuying checklist. But keep in mind that a swimming pool likely is a non-essential item. And if you find a home that is virtually perfect but lacks a swimming pool, it may still be a good idea to pursue this house.
2. Establish a Budget
How much can you afford to spend on a house? This question frequently plagues buyers as they proceed along the homebuying journey. Luckily, you can determine how much money is at your disposal if you develop a budget.
To budget effectively, it helps to meet with local lenders. Banks and credit unions generally offer a wide range of mortgage options and can help you make an informed mortgage decision.
In addition, it often helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage prior to entering the real estate market. Because if you have a mortgage, you can pursue houses that fall within a specific price range and reduce the risk of overspending to acquire your dream house.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
If you want to enjoy a quick, seamless homebuying experience, it is beneficial to have a homebuying expert at your side. Thankfully, real estate agents are available nationwide, and these housing market professionals will do what it takes to help you discover a great house at an affordable price.
A real estate agent understands housing market patterns and trends and can help you plan ahead for a buyer's or seller's market. He or she will teach you about the real estate market and respond to your homebuying queries as well.
Furthermore, a real estate agent acts as a guide throughout the homebuying journey. This housing market professional will set up home showings, negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf and help you finalize a home purchase. By doing so, a real estate agent will take the guesswork out of buying a house, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.
When it comes to purchasing a house, it helps to prepare. If you employ a real estate agent today, you can get the support you need to plan ahead for the best- and worst-case homebuying scenarios. That way, you'll be able to identify and address potential homebuying hurdles before they escalate.
Ready to buy a house? Follow the aforementioned steps, and you can move closer to pursuing your dream residence.
The real estate world can be difficult to navigate unless you know the language. There is so much jargon and specific terminology that somebody without years of experience can get overwhelmed. If you’re buying or selling a house for the first time, you’ll be learning a lot of these terms as part of the process. Here are three of the most important terms to understand:
Escrow is a word you will see used to describe part of the home sale process. Escrow means that a neutral third party is temporarily holding onto money involved in the transaction. A home is “in escrow” for however long the entire transaction takes to complete. An individual escrow agent or escrow company can facilitate the process. Either way, the purpose of escrow is to protect both sides of the transaction. Escrow guarantees that the buyer actually has the money to go through with the purchase. It also protects the buyer from losing money in a fraudulent sale.
Sometimes you might see the word escrow used to describe the entire home buying process. While that’s mostly accurate, the transaction is not technically “in escrow” until the neutral third party holds the funds.
FSBO (For Sale By Owner)
FSBO is an acronym used to describe a type of property listing. When a home is “for sale by owner,” or FSBO, it means the seller did not hire a real estate agent or broker to manage the sale. There are many benefits and disadvantages to FSBO depending on the situation, but no matter what, the seller holds responsibility for everything on their side—literally and legally. The seller sets the price and handles all the paperwork, so as a buyer you (and your agent) will work with them directly rather than another agent.
Closing, sometimes also referred to as settlement, is a term that covers a lot of important details. Primarily it refers to the very end of the home sale transaction when the title officially transfers to the new owner. Closing involves reviewing all the legal paperwork and signing off on the last stage of obtaining a mortgage loan. An attorney or mortgage representative typically oversees the process and makes sure all the required documents are completed. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provides a paperwork checklist to help you make sure you complete every step. The entire process from loan application to title transfer takes 30 to 45 days, but the final checking and signing of the paperwork only takes a few hours. This is called “closing day.”
Buying a home is a complicated process on both sides of the equation. Regardless of the number of agents involved, it’s important for the buyers and sellers to understand the terminology so they can make informed and confident decisions. For many, buying a home is the biggest financial transaction of their life—and not just because of the money. The details and long list of steps in the process might make it seem like an ordeal, but once you understand the language, you’ll find it a lot easier to enjoy the experience.
The homebuying journey may seem daunting at first. Lucky for you, we're here to help take the guesswork out of finding and acquiring your dream house.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you approach the homebuying journey with poise and confidence.
1. Be Diligent
A diligent homebuyer may be better equipped than others to enjoy a seamless and successful property buying experience. In fact, this buyer likely will do whatever it takes to find the right house at the right price, regardless of the current real estate market's conditions.
To become a diligent homebuyer, it generally is a good idea to learn about the housing market in your preferred cities and towns. With this information, you can determine whether you're pursuing a home in a buyer's or seller's market and plan accordingly.
Furthermore, it may be beneficial to get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you enter the housing market with a mortgage, you'll know exactly how much you can spend to acquire your dream house.
2. Know Where You Want to Go
Establish homebuying criteria – you'll be glad you did. If you know what differentiates your dream house from others, you can quickly and effortlessly search for residences that match your expectations.
Also, you may want to hone your home search to specific cities and towns. For example, if you want to find a house close to your office in the city, you may want to explore residences in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if your goal is to buy a house near the top schools in a particular state, you should narrow your house search based on school rankings and other pertinent data.
3. Work with a Real Estate Agent
Buying a house is no small feat, and ultimately, there is no reason to try to navigate the homebuying journey alone. Thankfully, you can hire a real estate agent who can provide expert support throughout the homebuying journey.
A real estate agent is a must-hire, and for good reason. He or she will guide you along the entire homebuying journey and respond to any of your homebuying concerns and questions. In addition, a real estate agent offers recommendations and suggestions to help you make informed decisions as you pursue your dream residence.
Usually, a real estate agent will learn about your homebuying goals and craft a personalized homebuying strategy for you. He or she next will keep you informed about available residences that meet your criteria and set up home showings. Once you find your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer to acquire this house. And if your offer receives a "Yes" from a home seller, a real estate agent will help you finalize your house purchase.
Ready to streamline the homebuying journey? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can kick off a house search and discover your ideal residence in no time at all.