January 21st, 2011 5:32 PM by Wendy Thomas
Now is the perfect time to be looking to purchase a new home! Great financing options, record low interest rates, and great inventory with prices ready to sell!
However great the market is, there are still things out there that can ruin a deal. I am here to give you some helpful tips to make your transaction as smooth as possible!
Failing to check your credit scores before you start looking. Get a good idea of what exactly you’re working with. Check with your credit (for free!) at www.annualcreditreport.com. I would do this about four to six months before you’re ready to begin your house hunting. That will give you enough time to make sure the information is accurate, and to fix it if not. Also, to take care of anything that might hinder you.
Not working with a Buyer’s Agent. Not having an experienced agent guiding you through the process of buying a home, can be very stressful. If you haven’t bought a home before, or even if you have, you may not be aware of all the inspections that need to be done, and all the insane amount of legally binding paperwork that’s involved. Having someone that is working with you, keeping your best interests in mind, will make this process a lot smoother.
You don’t look around for different loan options. Most people stop loan shopping at the best interest rate. You need to think about this decision for the long term. If you’re looking at being in the home for short-term, then getting a loan with a pre-payment penalty would be a waste of money. Are you going to be in the home for long-term? If so, an adjustable rate mortgage probably isn’t the best option for you. There are so many different financing options, you owe it to yourself to shop around.
Failing to find a reputable lender and getting pre-approved. You want to make sure you find a lender that’s going to be here down the road. Do research, ask your buyer’s agent who they recommend, ask family and friends who they used. Make sure you don’t get in over your head either. Just because the lender says you qualify for “x” amount of mortgage, doesn’t necessarily mean you should go that high. If you won’t be able to rest well at night with that monthly payment, don’t buy into it. Choose a realistic amount, that will ensure restful nights!
You don’t check out the neighborhood. When you first choose a home, you’ll most likely take the most direct route and main streets. To get a true sense of your potential neighborhood, use side streets to access the area. Visit during different times of the day, and during the week versus the weekend. On Sunday it may seem like a quiet neighborhood, but on Monday morning it’s more like rush hour traffic.
Failing to attend the home inspection and final walk through. You will find out more about your new home by doing this than anything else! Accompany the home inspector on the inspection, and they will be able to answer any questions you have. You’ll be able to view how the home is constructed and the plumbing and wiring. The final walk through is imperative to make sure the house is as it was purchased. Making sure anything that was negotiated in the price is still there.
Not examining closing documents before you’re at the closing table. In today’s rush to get the new homeowner in their home, most buyers pass on looking over the closing documents. By federal law, a buyer is given one business day to review anything that will be required to sign at closing. Ensuring you have plenty of time to understand what you’re signing, and to ask questions if you don’t. This will probably be one of the biggest purchases you will ever make, it’s vital to understand what you’re committing yourself to.
If you arm yourself with a good buyer’s agent and are prepared to ask questions, your home buying experience will likely be enjoyable and sin-free!
Post by Dana Cannon