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Scott Russey Realtor

srussey@hotmail.com
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Scott Russey Realtor
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srussey@hotmail.com
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Scott's Blog

5 Tips for Home Buyers

 

If you are thinking about buying a home, and especially if it’s your first time, there are few simple steps that will help smooth out and de-stress the process.  

 

  1. Get your credit in order.  When I speak with first-time buyers I often encounter people who are either too optimistic or too pessimistic about their credit condition. Knowing where you stand is the most important step.  Start by ordering a copy of your credit report. If there are errors or outdated information, follow the credit bureau’s procedure for correcting erroneous information. You don’t need to pay expensive credit repair companies to do it for you. 

     

  2. Get pre-approved for a mortgage.  I work with several qualified mortgage lenders who offer numerous programs for almost every situation.  If your credit isn’t in the best of health, your lender can help you make targeted adjustments that can quickly improve your score.  Some people think that they need to pay off all credit card debt, but that isn’t always the best strategy. Worried that you don’t have enough cash for the down payment?  There a many financing options available and some require very little money down. A qualified, licensed mortgage lender can help you navigate the process and find the right solution for you. They can also help you create a plan to improve your finances to qualify for a mortgage in the quickest possible way.  Once you have your pre-approval, don’t make any large purchases or open new credit accounts, this will likely trigger a re-application process and set you back several weeks or longer.

     

  3. Establish a budget.  Just because you’re approved for a certain amount doesn’t mean you should necessarily find a home at that limit.  Prepare a budget for your first year of ownership considering all your anticipated expenses.  And don’t forget to factor in things like property tax and insurance escrows that will likely be added to your monthly payment.  This will give you the best picture of how much home you can afford.

     

  4. Make a list of must haves and won’t dos for your ideal home.  This helps narrow your search and focus on what you really need in a home.  Think about your needs for the next five to ten years. 

     

  5. Retain a competent real estate agent to help you with the home search and buying process.  Many first-time home buyers don’t realize that, in most cases, the seller pays the agent’s commission.  A Buyer’s Representation Agreement with your agent ensures that he or she is loyal only to you.  Your agent should assist you with evaluating asking prices, advising you on making offers, preparing, and submitting written offers, scheduling inspections, and ensuring that all agreed upon repairs are completed by competent, licensed contractors.  Your agent should also review closing statements for accuracy and attend the settlement with you.