Many people dream of their next home. Could it be a larger home for your larger family? Maybe you want a bigger house to incorporate a home office. Do you dream of a home with more land?
Others are deciding on downsizing. Retirees who no longer care to keep up a garden, or do not want exterior maintenance are thinking of a smaller home or condo. Empty nesters might be trying to figure out their next step to a smaller space but one the kids and grand kids and visit comfortably.
Right now, we have historically low interest rates which makes it a great time buy a new home.
If you are a new homebuyer, contact your bank’s mortgage department or find a lender in your town determine what mortgage programs work for you. What kind of rate can you get and what does a rate lock mean? Decide if you have the money for a down payment. If not, learn from your mortgage professional ways to secure one. Ask about taxes and insurance that will be added to the mortgage.
Get quotes on moving expenses and storage in case you need a short-term storage unit. Many people forget this part of the cost. Determine your budget and the price range to be searching for a house.
If the numbers work out and you find that this is the time for you to make a purchase, start your homebuying searches online by looking at neighborhoods in your price range. Keep a mortgage calculator, like one offered by Realtor.com, nearby to help you figure out the costs.
Look for a real estate agent to help you.
Ask for referrals from friends and family and the mortgage lender you are working with. Most of these people in your sphere know or have worked with an agent that they would want to recommend.
Online companies that pick an agent for you are really gathering your info and selling it to local agents; the agent you pick from this pool will have to pay a fee to the referral company for your business. If you go that route, be sure to interview several that call you. Make sure you pick an agent that you feel you can trust; one that you think you’ll get along with.
Check out non-referral companies, too, like Yelp and Realtor.com to investigate agent profiles. Do a browser search for local agents and read about the ones that populate on the search page. Find agents’ business pages on Facebook and profiles on LinkedIn.
If you want specifically to purchase short-sale or REO properties, search for agents that are educated in the process. There is significantly more paperwork and you really can’t do it alone.
A good agent will suggest more properties to visit and will walk you through the homebuying process: the contracts, addendum, inspections and negotiating for repairs including termites if they are present, attorneys, making sense of appraisals, the underwriting process, closing proceedures and more.
Use the agent you picked to help you with For Sale By Owner properties, too. You’ll want a coach and advocate to take this path with you. FSBO sellers are only interested in their well being and generally won’t be able to help you with your questions. If you call a FSBO then you’re on your own. Once they have your name, they are not going to want to pay your agent, and your agent can’t help you any further. So let your agent call the FSBO seller for you.
Enjoy your home buying adventure.
Eileen Saunders, SRES REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors BOF-Oxford 2092 Old Taylor Road #101, Oxford, MS 38655 662-404-0816/662-234-5344 firstname.lastname@example.org