You’ve decided to buy a new home in 2014. Congratulations! Whether this is your first time or third time, buying a home is a rewarding experience. But it can also be a stressful one, too.
We as a team have been through what feels like a million closings. We know the ins and outs of buying a home – so we’ve created this handy checklist for you to make sure you know the details to ensure as smooth closing on your brand new home!
- Check your credit – you want to verify your credit report to make sure you don’t have too many open credit card accounts, unclosed accounts, or alleged non-payments and inaccuracies. These could affect not only the amount you are eligible to borrow, but also your interest rate. According to the US Public Research Interest Group (PIRG), 79% of credit reports contain serious errors or mistakes. Make sure you are in the 21% that does not have the errors!
- Get a Realtor – buying a home is not like buying a car. It’s much more complicated than that. Your Realtor should be able to speak to you about the types of homes out there that match what you’re looking for, and speak to location and home features etc. They’re also your ally in this process. They are there to represent you to ensure you are getting a fair price and that you’re not walking into a money pit.
- Get pre-approved – your Realtor can recommend a mortgage banker to you – but getting pre-approved is a necessity in today’s Real Estate market. It shows that you’re serious about buying AND can afford and qualify for the price the home is on the market for.
- Avoid mortgage pit-falls – avoid things like changing jobs, moving money around, changing banks, or making large purchases. Also avoid applying for additional credit. All of these things can make your mortgage approval process that much more challenging.
- Need to have vs nice to have – make a list of things you need vs want. For example, a pool is nice to have, but what if the house doesn’t have an in-law suite? Or central air? Determine what you need to have to live comfortable vs what you would like to have that would be a bonus.
There is a little more to it than this; however, a good Realtor can walk you through all of this. Whether you’re a motivated buyer or just thinking about it, download our mobile app. It is based on your GPS and can show you properties for sale based on your location. Aka – this Saturday, if you’re driving around and see a neighborhood you like, open up the app and see what’s available. (But don’t do it while driving. That’s illegal in DC, Maryland, and Virginia!)