You are about to invest in your most valuable asset. Below are our top 8 recommendations to make you more confident as you start your home buying journey.
1. Your Credit Rating
Getting your finances in order is probably the most important step you should take. You must know exactly what your credit reports say about your financial history before you apply for a mortgage, because the reports play an important
role in the mortgage approval process and in determining the interest rate and other loan terms that a lender offers you.
2. Understanding How Mortgages Work
Get familiar with the mortgage laws, structure and options. That way, you will be able to decide on the right loan and lender – crucial to your home buying success. It is up to you to determine which lender is best for your needs, and it is always a good idea to have at least a bit of background about the loan process before you make your final decision.
3. Getting a Mortgage Pre-Approval
Do you know how much house you can afford? Probably not, unless you have talked to a mortgage broker. Pre-approval helps you in other ways. Consider this scenario. A home seller gets two similar offers. One is accompanied by a letter that states the buyer is pre-approved for a mortgage in the amount of the offer. The other has no supporting documents. Which offer do you think the seller will consider first?
4. Sorting Out Your Needs and Wants
Buying a home isn’t as difficult as you might think, even if you’re short on funds. But the process will go a lot smoother if you get familiar with your real estate market and narrow down your wants and needs before you start looking at houses.
5. Preparing to Work with Real Estate Agents
Real estate agents represent buyers, sellers, or both. It’s essential to understand agent duties and loyalties before you make that first phone call.
6. The Great Home Search
The Internet is a great tool – you can spend endless hours searching the public version of the Multiple Listing Service website. You can also pick up House For Sale magazines and read classified ads in local media. You might even plan an afternoon drive to preview neighbourhoods. These are all excellent ways to see what is available out there.
7. Home Inspection
Deciding whether or not you want to buy a house involves a look at its structure and its features, but there are many other topics that are every bit as important to your purchase. Appoint a professional to conduct the home inspection. Study what kind of house it is and consider its market value.
8. Making the Offer
There is no one set of instructions that can cover all the differences in real estate laws and customs that exist throughout, so it is important to meet with your agent, attorney or advisor to fine-tune your offer and take care of all the contractual considerations.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.