You’ve made the decision. Apartment living just isn’t going to work anymore. Too many rate increases, too much noise, and one too many dings in your car doors have convinced you it’s time to think about putting a few feet of open space between you and your neighbors. A house will solve all of those problems but where do you start? You’ve spent your spare time browsing through Real Estate websites looking at pictures. You’ve even taken the last few weekends and driven through neighborhoods looking at houses. But you aren’t getting anywhere.
You need a plan.
Buying a house is a big step. It’s the biggest investment you’ll make for your family’s comfort, safety, and future. It’s important to make the right decision. And there are things you can do to insure that you make the right purchase.
It’s important to remember that even though the process of buying a house might seem intimidating you are always in control. Use professionals to give you as much advice as you can get. Ask a lot of questions. Pros will understand where you’re coming from and will answer each question thoroughly; even the questions you might think are dumb. But if you’ve never bought a house before, how are you to know if you don’t ask? Knowledge is power. The more you know the better choice you will make.
The first step in your quest for knowledge is to talk to a mortgage loan officer. He or she should be local so if anything comes up you can get in your car and go to their office for answers. Dealing with money people only on the phone or through emails can be a slow and frustrating process. If your loan officer lives here you know they have a vested interest in the community just like you do.
You’re probably wondering why you would need to talk to a mortgage company if you haven’t even found a house yet. A loan officer will help you in several ways, not the least of which is to look at your current financial situation to find out how much house you can afford. There’s no need to look at properties that are out of your price range. That is just frustrating. A good loan officer will also tell you if you need to clean some things up to increase your credit rating so you can get a better interest rate. Sometimes it can be amazing to see how just paying off a balance on a credit card can mean the difference between getting a loan or not. Sometimes it can even mean getting a lower interest rate, which will lower the monthly payment.
The loan officer will talk to you about down payments and closing costs, too. This will help you know how much money you need to plan to bring to the closing table. All of these things will affect your home search. Being this open with a stranger about your finances might make you feel uncomfortable but it shouldn’t. When you’re done with this part you’ll feel empowered because you’ll have knowledge about what you can do and in which direction you need to move forward.
If you’re interested in knowing more about the process of buying a home, call me at 918-809-5199. I can answer many of your questions and I know people who can answer the questions I can’t. I also know several loan officers who take pride in providing you with information that will help you win.
Next: What do I do now? Part 2 – Choosing an Agent.