First time Home buyers are often worried about the process of purchasing their first home. Putting a team of professionals around you will make the process easier and less stressful.
Start with a LENDER that you trust and get pre-qualified for a mortgage. This will give you a comfort level for the loan that you need and how much money you will need to close on the purchase your home. There are many loans out there currently with little or no monies down and you can often get a Seller to help pay for your closing costs.
- Find a good REALTOR that is a member of the local multiple listing service. They can educate you regarding average sales prices, average time on market, and provide you with information on homes that meet your parameters. Give them a list of what you desire.
- Once you have found a home that fits your needs then make an offer, contingent upon final approval for financing (including the appraisal), a home inspection (even if you elect to do it yourself), and insurance (as you want to make sure the property is insurable).
- HOME INSPECTORS will generally cost between $300 and $500 but they will help to assure you of the structural integrity of the home. Often there is a longer list of cosmetic items that need to be fixed but they often become your “To Do” list for maintenance.
- APPRAISER – your lender will choose the appraiser. Should your home not appraise for the purchase price then you have the option to cancel your offer or renegotiate to a new price.
- INSURANCE – you need to have a “binder” on the home before you close if you are getting a loan.
- TITLE COMPANY – usually the Seller chooses the Title Company and your will get a “preliminary title report.” This report insures that you are getting this new home free of any liens. Read this report carefully and get your REALTOR involved or call and ask the Title Company if you have any questions on any of the items on this report.
Get ready for closing. There are still hoops to jump through to almost the very end. The Lender will be asking for last minute items: proof of funds, proof that you are still employed, etc. but just know that these are normal items that anyone getting a loan must prove. PATIENCE as you are almost to the end.
ESCROW OFFICER – this is also usually done by the Title Company and it is the person that is going to help you sign all of the documents to move this home from the Seller to YOU as the new owner.
Enjoy your new home!!! CONGRATULATIONS…….You have just made one of the largest investments you will probably ever make. You have moved from renting (paying someone else’s mortgage) to investing (paying your own)!!
ITEMS TO AVOID during the closing process:
AVOID changing your marital status. How you have a Buy-Sell written is how the Lender and the Title Company will prepare all of your documents.
AVOID changing jobs. A change in employment can drastically change your ability to purchase a home. If you are considering changing jobs then speak with your Lender to find out if this will change your ability to buy.
AVOID switching banks or moving your monies to different accounts. Lenders need to verify accounts and make sure there is enough money in the accounts to close on the purchase.
AVOID paying off existing accounts unless your lender requests it but ALWAYS continue to make your payments in a timely manner. This could affect your credit score if you make unnecessary changes.
AVOID making any larger purchases! This too can change the amount of cash in your accounts and also your credit worthiness. A Lender will ask you to continue to not make any larger purchases for 60 days after closing.