As we start the new year of 2015 we have officially reached a time where the rental prices have surpassed the cost of a mortgage. Ouch. There was a time, not too long ago where it was smarter to rent- little to no maintenance costs, no more than a year commitment, allowing you to experience lots of different locations. However, now it is quickly becoming more expensive to rent.
Let’s explore purchasing your very first home. This will be one of the most exciting, fulfilling and accomplished moment of your life, right up there with getting married and having children. You deserve this! You deserve a home to call your own and to build financial equity in.
I have broken the steps of becoming a homeowner into five simple and easy to understand steps.
Step One. First things first. What can you afford?
You may have a good understanding of the price range you’d like to begin looking for homes in, however if you need to obtain a mortgage, the mortgage lender will “pre-approve” you for the proper range we will begin our home searches in. Now remember everyone has a budget, that doesn’t necessarily mean what one can afford, it means what one is willing to spend. I work with the best lender in the area, together, we arrange a package to fit any budget, which includes down payment assistance programs, low interest rates, no money down loans and special financing to help you perfect your new home. Your lender and I can show you how a home payment can be less than your current rent payment is. Once we have a pre-approval letter, which signifies the loan amount you are qualified for, we will begin the search for your perfect first home. Click here for more information on getting qualified.
Step Two. What’s most important to you in a home?
Thinking about finally owning a home we may have a wish list a mile long. You know, all the things we’ve been pinning to our “dream house” board on Pinterest for years. Your first home can potentially be your dream home, but to begin we need to narrow the list down to your absolute must haves. This allows us to get you into properties that meet those core requirements with potential for more, because, realistically as a first time home buyer a property will not be 100% right away. That is part of the fun, doing home-improvement, putting your love into the home and really making it your own.
Click here for a PDF checklist to get you started.
Step Three. Woohoo! You found THE house!
Alright, it’s time! Once you have found the home you’d like to make yours we will make a formal offer. I will educate you every step of the way, starting by showing you comparable homes on the market and market conditions, allowing you to make the most educated decision on the offer price. I work for you and if there is anyway to save you money, I will find it!
Step Four. The offer was accepted!
Once your offer has been accepted, we need to schedule the home inspection. Why do you need an inspection? Well, first if you are receiving a loan, the bank will require an inspection- but the truth of the matter is an inspection will find any defects or harmful items that you and I cant see. Even if a property seems to be flawless, there is no substitute for having a licensed and insured professional inspect the property for quality, safety and overall condition of your potential new home. It is so beneficial to find out something sooner than later. Next, I will coordinate with the other Realtor, the lender, the title company and you to make sure that all deadlines are met for the closing. The home will need to be appraised (mortgage lenders require this to protect their interest in the property), the title company will conduct a title search to ensure a clear title for closing, and the mortgage lender will handle obtaining private mortgage insurance if you have less than 20% down payment. We want to make sure that there are no surprises on the day of closing and you walk away with keys to your first home!
Step Five. Congratulations! You are now officially a homeowner!
Closing day basically consists of signing a TON of papers in a short period of time. Your hand may have a cramp at the end of this process. You will have definitely earned the bragging rights to post all over social media! You are now a homeowner earning equity in your future. Part of ensuring this equity is properly maintaining your new home. If this sounds like a daunting task, don’t fret, I have a phone book of licensed and insured vendors that can guide or assist you every step of the way. My job doesn’t end at the closing table, I am here for you as a resource long after closing.