Tips for New Home Buyers…
Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. For one, it’s probably the largest purchase you will ever make in size and dollar terms. Looking at homes and choosing which one is best for you and your family should be fun and exciting, but its also very nerve racking, especially when you get down to all the paperwork and financial terms of the transaction. There’s so much more to it than that even. Many people struggle to find the right fit for their home on a financial level. The biggest mistake you don’t want to make is strapping yourself down with a huge mortgage payment that barely meets the debt to income guidelines of the bank or mortgage company. There’s a lot of things about home-ownership that aren’t explained clearly enough. Homes are expensive, not just to buy, but to maintain. How do you make the best decision on buying a home?
There are 3 people in the real estate transaction you need to make sure are on your team and are on the same page as you. That is the mortgage loan officer, the real estate agent, and the insurance agent.
The Mortgage Broker/Banker
Finding a mortgage broker or banker that will help you make the right decisions is key. The most complicated part of the entire real estate transaction is the Mortgage itself. Finding a mortgage lender or banker can be done in the same way. Search for local banks or mortgage lenders, have a phone call with them to ask them about their products, and see if you think you will be able to work well with them. A lot of people want to go online to do this and let me tell you, it takes longer than they say it does. It’s much easier to work with a mortgage lender or banker that can help you through the process. There’s nothing more frustrating than continually getting emails asking for more information and not having a professional to help you through the process. You may be surprised that many local banks and lenders may have just as good or better products than the online places.
PRO TIP: Take your time with figuring out how much home you can afford, because you don’t want to push your debt to income limits to the max. What if you purchase the home and then there’s a major expense that comes up? Give yourself some room financially if you have to pay for unexpected expenses.
Choosing the right realtor is more important than you may realize. When you are looking for your dream home, its important than you and your realtor are on the same page as to what you’re looking for in a home. What could happen is you tell your realtor the kind of home you’re looking for and the keep showing you only homes that they have listed or they try to show you homes that are outside your price range. Its important to do your research and check the reputation of the realtor you choose. You can always ask for some references, check their Google or FB reviews, and follow them on social media to find out more about them. The last thing you want is to be frustrated in the most fun part of buying a home, which is Picking one out.
PRO TIP: After you find a lender you want to work with, ask them to help you figure out how much house you can afford. They can also provide you with a Pre-Approval letter you can take to your realtor so they know what price you range you have already been approved and the seller knows you’re serious.
The Insurance Agent
The last piece to the real estate transaction before you can close the deal is getting the home owners insurance in place. Now that you’ve made it through finding the home of your dreams, you’ve been worn out with getting all the paperwork together for the loan closing, you’re ready to just get the deal done so you can move in. Home insurance is one of those things people put off until the end of the transaction because they usually don’t think about it until their mortgage lender tells them they need an insurance binder. One of the biggest mistakes I see people make at this point in the transaction is they will call 1 or 2 places and they will take the first reasonable rate that comes in. Its’ extremely important that you find an insurance agent that specializes in home insurance because there are a lot more coverages that come into play on your home insurance than you may think. Home insurance covers the house, the contents in your house, other structures that may not be attached to your house, liability if someone sues you, medical payments if someone gets hurt, wind and hail damage to the roof, and much much more. When its time to get your home owners insurance in place, take some time to check a few places, Google search insurance in your area, read their reviews, call the agent and have a phone conversation to make sure you’re comfortable with them. The most important thing I would suggest is to deal with an actual agent at an independent insurance agency. Don’t go looking for the brand names you see on TV, because here’s what happens, they will collect a whole bunch of information about you and the home, it usually takes longer than you think, then they come back to you with 1 quote. An independent insurance agent usually has access to numerous A rated insurance companies that offer a lot more coverage options, so you are letting them do the shopping for you and they can customize your home insurance to better suit your needs.
PRO TIP: A lot of times, you’re mortgage lender or realtor can offer you some suggestions also as to who they work with in the area.
Hopefully these tips will help you when you start your search for your dream home. Honestly, to sum up, the best advice to take away is find a professional in all three of these areas to work with. Trying to do all this on your own online will wear you out and make the process much more frustrating. Buying a home should be fun and exciting. Happy House Hunting!!!