Meet in person with a Local Mortgage Banker to get prequalified for mortgage financing. The Mortgage Banker will review all facets of your loan request to answer your questions with regards to the types of loans and maximum loan amounts you could qualify for. Your Mortgage Banker will discuss the various loan programs, closing costs, and most important of all, monthly payment.
Line up a Home Inspector. A good home inspector will scare the heck out of you: that's what you pay him for! But you'll concentrate on the fundamentals of the property: roof free of leaks, plumbing, heating and electrical up to code and in good working order. Again, when you make an offer and you have your Home Inspector ready to go, your offer will be considered with much more interest by a Seller because you truly have your "ducks in a row" and your preparation demonstrates your serious attitude about conducting the purchase transaction in a timely manner.
Find an experienced Local Realtor who works in your desired shopping area. A serious pro Realtor will refuse to show you homes until you are Prequalified for mortgage financing. Don't take offense! That Realtor doesn't want you to be disappointed and wants you to have a smooth experience as you shop for your new home.
Put together your Team of real estate professionals and shop 'til you drop!
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Century 21 M &M and Associates
Here's my "Top 4" bits of advice for any Homebuyer:
1) Find a professional RealtorÂ® to work with to protect you interests.
Simply put, your RealtorÂ® will be able to answer initial key questions and guide you through the process. One of the key advantages of involving your RealtorÂ® is access to seasoned Mortgage Broker/Bankers with a track record of getting the job done. You can check to make sure an Agent is a RealtorÂ® by going here: http://www.realtor.org/rofindrealtor.nsf/pages/FS_FREALTOR?O
2) Obtain a "True Pre-Approval" (your most important step in my opinion).
You MAY need to improve your credit score, increase cash reserves, etc. before buying; however, at least you will have a roadmap to eventually purchasing if this is the case. Furthermore, this step can save you from wasting money on a purchase that does not close escrow!
3) Make sure you obtain access to your local AND regional RealtorÂ® MLS data via an automated search your RealtorÂ® should most certainly create for you; here's why:
MLS Data Accuracy â€“ Where to search if youâ€™re â€œwithout RealtorÂ®â€
4) Avoid Dual Agency!
There are specific duties an Agent must provide. When one individual represents both Buyer and Seller conflict between two of the most important duties occur.
Accredited Buyer Representative
Licensed Associate Broker
William Raveis Legends Realty Group
I would add that you should not purchase more than you can afford. I know this sounds like a cliche' but it's easy to get over your head even if the bank tells you what you can qualify for on paper. What you can afford or want to pay each month and what you are "per-qualified" for can be two different things. For your first home, I would stay on the lower end and be comfortable with your payments. You will be a lot happier if you have money left over each month for unanticipated homeowner expenses or things you want to change or upgrade around the house.
I would be happy to help answer any other questions on your new home endeavor from a local perspective.
(Click on my picture for contact info!)
Why? Because like every other profession, not all agents/brokers are created equal. Not all are honest. Not all work with first timers regularly.
Here is a blog I wrote on the subject of choosing your representative - hope it helps:
A great agent/broker can provide also provide you with information/referrals on all ancillary pros to help you through the process - lenders, inspectors, etc...
Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
The first advice I would offer is to begin interviewing Realtors (be prepared to take some time with this step as it's more important to find a good honest and experienced Realtor than most first time buyers realize) Here's a link on how to do this: http://www.trulia.com/blog/LarryTollen/2011/09/how_do_you_ch
Once you've located a buyer broker you feel comfortable with they will advise you on what you need to do to get pre-approved for a mortgage so that you are in the strongest possible negotiating position when the time comes to make an offer.
I've attached another link below offering some additional advice specifically for first time buyers.
I wish you all the best, an exciting year to come and happy house hunting.
Here is a video I created for my first-time home buyers. I hope you will find it useful and informative.
Best of Luck. Home Ownership is an integral part of who you are. And should not linger for a long time as a mere dream.
Meanwhile, to get yourself started, you should get a pre-approval with a local lender to assess your financial abilities to purchase a home.