Buy A House
As soon as you feel like you are ready to buy a house we are here to help. If it is your first house, third house, or an investment property our team is experienced in helping buyers find the perfect home. We listen, answer your questions and help you find a home that meets all of your needs.
Before you start the process to buy a house, it is important to talk with a mortgage broker or loan officer to have your credit checked. You have three different credit scores, one for each of your credit reports or bureaus: Experian, Equinox, and TransUnion. Your credit score directly impacts your ability to get a loan and what your rate on the loan will be. The better your score the more attractive your rate. Errors on credit reports are common. Before you dispute or make changes you should get the advice of your loan officer. You need to be prepared to make an offer with a full pre-approval in hand. In fact, many sellers and most bank-owned properties require a pre-approval to accompany your offer.
When you buy a house the monthly payment includes more than just the principal and interest (P&I) on your loan. Property taxes, homeowners insurance are included in your mortgage payment. Homeowner association dues, condo fees and utility bills need to be included in your budget and some costs are paid upfront prior to closing. An escrow deposit is required to bind your contract when it is accepted by both parties. Furthermore, the lender requires the appraisal fee to be paid prior to ordering an appraisal.
Loan to value ratios (referred to as LTV) are used by the lender to determine affordability. A good rule of thumb is to keep your housing expenses to 30% of your total income and when you factor in other debt the banks generally do not like you to exceed 42% for all expenses.
In addition to the upfront expenses you need to determine how much you are willing to place as a down payment on your loan. If the down payment is less than 20% you may be required to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) as well as an upfront PMI funding fee. You should always request a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) of costs so you know how much you should expect to bring to closing.
Check on whether your employer can help; by assisting with the down payment or get a low-interest loan from selected lenders. You can also tap a 401(k) or similar retirement plan for a loan from yourself.
You can also check with various private and public agencies to see if they are offering any incentives. Most programs are geared towards first time home buyers but if you qualify it will be worth the effort.
Real Estate Agents
Now that you have been approved, it is time to hire a real estate agent to represent you. A buyer’s agent has the same access to homes for sale that a seller’s agent does, but his or her allegiance is dedicated you. The seller typically pays the buyer and seller agent commission so it makes sense to have your own representation at no cost to you. We are here to serve as a valuable resource to you.
Finding A House
Be wary of choosing search criteria that are too restrictive. For example, select a price range 10% above and 10% below your true range. Add a 10-mile cushion to the location you specify. Once you find the house you want, you are ready to make an offer. We can advise you on the best negotiating strategy when you buy a house based on the current market conditions and demand.
The foundation of our business is referrals and we want to exceed your expectations.