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Preparing to Buy

DETERMINE YOUR WANTS AND NEEDS

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There are a variety of options for homes on the market today.

  • To help narrow your search, take some time to brainstorm a list of items you would like to have in a home.
  • Then take that list and sort it into needs and wants. Needs are critical items and wants are the items that would be a cherry on top.
  • Finally, further refine your list to order the needs and wants from most important to least important.
  • This step can take some time, but it helps me find the right homes for you and will help you make a possible tough decision between a couple of great homes when compared side by side.

    Some sample items to include in your list:

    • Area – try and narrow it down to a specific geographic location or two to make your decision easier
    • School preference (if any)
    • Number of bedrooms
    • Number of baths
    • Yard size
    • Garage size, or maybe no garage
    • Pool

ARRANGE FINANCING

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Today’s market for homes is very competitive. Few Buyers have the capability of submitting a full cash offer, so what can you do to separate yourself from the pack?

Sellers are looking at multiple offers often on homes; one way to distinguish your offer from others is to have it solid with a pre-approval or pre-qualification document to attach with your offer.

Additionally, it is good to have these documents in your back pocket prior to viewing many homes so that you have it when you find the one you want.

Also, it is good to find your bank or mortgage firm you would prefer to utilize. If you do not know any lenders in the area, I have some partner firms that I work with regularly. See my vendors page for the lenders I recommend.

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Many of my clients ask me, “Should we get pre-qualified or pre-approved?”

Pre-qualification is a relatively quicker process. Lenders will look at basic financial items like income and debt metrics to determine a reasonable loan amount. Pre-qualifications can take a day or two to prepare.

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Pre-approvals are a little more involved and can take a few days to a week to prepare. This is comparable to the beginning steps of the loan process. In addition to the pre-qualification basic financial items, a credit report will be pulled to assess credit worthiness and a more thorough look at income and debt. Additionally, the lender will look for sources of down payment.

Pre-approvals tend to carry more weight in Seller’s minds when reviewing offers because they know the Buyer has gone through a more thorough review of their finances with a lender. Also, since pre-approvals are more detailed, much of the actual work for a Buyer is completed and this can reduce issues occurring up to closing time.

The Financing Process can be one of the most confusing times during purchasing a home. I have detailed the process below to help clarify the details:

    1. Interview and select your lender.
    2. Complete the loan application.
    3. Get pre-approved or pre-qualified for a loan.
    4. Choose your loan type and loan amount. Coupled with down payment, this will be the cost of the home you can afford.
    5. Submit an offer on a home. Once secured, transmit a copy of the contract to the lender.
    6. The Lender and your Realtor will help coordinate the necessary appraisal(s) and inspection(s).
    7. The Title Company will perform background checks on the deed and any encumbrances.
    8. Close on the home and execute the mortgage agreement.
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