One of the first steps to purchasing a home is to save money for the down payment.
Before we go out looking at homes in person, we will sit down for a full consultation so that we can get a better picture of your ideal scenario. We will be discussing the real estate transaction from A to Z in plain English.
Qualify for a mortgage loan
You will be subjected to a credit check. Request a copy of your credit report. Carefully examine it for errors, and clean it up before you talk to a lender.
Pre-approve or pre-qualify?
It is smart to ask your lender to pre-approve, rather than pre-qualify you for a mortgage. Pre-qualification only tells how much you can afford. Pre-approval goes a step further. Although not a final loan commitment, the pre-approval letter can be shown when bidding on a home. This information is important to the sellers since they do not want to accept an offer that is likely to fail because financing cannot be obtained. Once you determine how much you can afford to pay for a home, try to stay within your budget.
After deciding on a lender (a bank, your credit union, or a mortgage lender) and a mortgage; get every detail in writing. In particular, get the lock-in rate, privileges and fees in writing. Read all the documents related to the purchase of the property, and have a professional review them. You are signing a binding, legal document.
Check your lease for an early termination clause. If you will be subjected to penalties, try to time your closing with the expiration of your lease.
Buy first or sell first?
It is always a risk to buy before you sell. But, it is also a big inconvenience to not find a home and to have to move into a rental property while still looking for a house to buy.
What type of dwelling?
Look at many homes including an assortment of types of homes. When you view a property, list the positives and the negatives. Do not stop your inspection at the property line. Examine the surrounding areas. Is it safe, well maintained and moderately quiet? Is it convenient to work, schools and shops? Ask about zoning and that vacant lot across the street.