Tuesday, January 10, 2017 / by Jason Huval
- Get your finances in your order! You can start by getting an idea of where your credit stands. In today's world, credit is king and anyone with a firm grasp on their financial situation will have an easier time as a buyer of real estate. Depending on what your report reveals, be sure to correct any issues you find as this can help you in the long run when it comes to financing and the rate you'll pay on a mortgage. Finding a reputable lender and getting pre-approved is your next step. Central Metro Realty works closely a variety of lenders across Greater Austin and it is best to shop around to get a rate you're satisfied with! These essential financing steps can improve your experience as a buyer drastically and will put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you find the house you're looking for!
- Find a house you can afford! As with any large purchase, there is a general rule of thumb when it comes to buying a new home: 2.5x your annual salary. There are a number of tools and calculators online that can help you understand how your income, debt, and expenses affect your overall affordability. Here is a useful calculator but there are many you can find online! It's important to factor in the other many variables beyond the sticker price of a home as well. Things such as property taxes, energy costs, and much more!
- Hire a professional! Yes, the internet contains a plethora of resources for buyers including listings, market data, and various tools and tips. However, many aspects of the buying process require a level of expertise you can't pick up from the web. Hiring an experienced, dedicated REALTOR® can make all of the difference in your quest for a new home. Recruiting an exclusive buyer's agent is much the same as hiring a personal assistant who will hold your needs and interest at heart while doing all of the legwork on your behalf. Strategic knowledge cannot be overlooked and any seasoned professional will be able to walk you through the bidding process once you find that home with the tips and tricks they've picked up over the years. Finding the right REALTOR® is very important and hiring just anyone can be a grave mistake.
- Homework! Buying a home isn't as simple as simply buying a home. You can find numerous amounts of the perfect sized home anywhere, however, knowing your preferred neighborhood and what it has to offer as well as in-depth market analysis of your desired location is key! Before any bid is made on any house, your REALTOR® should provide you with these types of reports. Knowing your market is important as the future is never guaranteed and you may one day have to end up selling the property you have chosen to buy. Monitoring sales trends of similar homes in area is a good place to start and your "personal assistant" should be able to provide and even walk you through all of this. This can also lead you to putting the perfect, market competitive bid in on your chosen home!
- Think long term! Buying a home feels great at the time, but let's not forget the honey moon phase will wear off and you'll want to make sure your home is built for longevity. Hiring an inspector to do a thorough overview of your home is one of the smarted moves any buyer can do. Home repairs can be costly, but if you're prepared and know the challenges you'll potentially face in the future this can really help with your plan for the long term. Your REALTOR® should always advise this and should have a trusty inspector they refer to all clients so they should be able to help you with this
- Get pre-qualified! Remember that first step we had mentioned at the beginning? This is the product of that! Getting pre-qualified is the first step in applying for a mortgage and it is fairly simple. You supply your chosen lender with your financial history (now spot-free after checking and correcting your report!) - this includes debt, income and all assets you may possess. With this information, your lender should be able to give you the amount you qualify for when it comes to your mortgage. Pre-qualifying is a crucial yet free step and can make the home buying process that much easier! Pre-approval then tends to be a little more hands-on. You'll complete an official mortgage application (usually accompanied by an application fee), then supply the lender with documentation to perform an extensive check on your financial background and credit rating. Once this is finished you'll be able to know the specific amount that you can actually borrow and you'll have a better idea on the rate you'll get for your loan.
All of these tips can make the home buying process easier. For more resources on where to start you can always visit Realtor.com! Being prepared is key when it comes to finding your new home!