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Watch Out For Home Buyer Snares

Dated: July 13 2016

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Here is a list of the 10 most common mistakes and misconceptions to avoid when buying a home!

  1. POOR CREDIT : It is important to monitor/check your credit if you are contemplating buying a home. Give yourself time to fix any credit hitches before you start the process of looking. You typically need a credit score of 620 or higher to qualify. When your credit score is over 700 you qualify for a lot more. New homebuyers also have the opportunity to qualify for fantastic grants with a good credit score. Often times you can get in to a home with little to no down payment!

  2. LACK OF BUDGET KNOWLEDGE: It is important as a home buyer to find a home with a monthly payment that you can afford. I see buyers that often shop for homes that fit their pre-qualification loan amount only to find out they can’t actually afford the monthly payment. It is important that you understand both numbers. Sure a bank might tell you that you can get a loan for $250,000, but can you afford a $1200-$1500 monthly payment? And if not, what can you do to bring that payment amount down? Talk with a good mortgage broker and find out what options you have before you start shopping.

  3. COMMITMENT TO THE PROCESS: Finding a home isn’t just a weekend hobby. On average it takes 12 weeks of searching before you find the ‘perfect’ home. Keep in close contact with your Realtor and lender and don’t expect to buy the first house you see. This is a long term investment, you should LOVE what you buy!

  4. CAN’T FIND A HOME: Find a home that fits your needs, not just your tastes. Before you go home shopping make a list of basic essentials that your home needs to have. Share this list with your Realtor and make sure everyone is on the same page. When you find the one that meets all your needs, jump on it!

  5. DOWN PAYMENT: Determine with your lender a down payment that fits your budget. If you put less than 20% down you will have to pay mortgage insurance which will raise your monthly payment. This is why it is important to understand from day one what type of loan you qualify for and what the expectations will be for a down payment. You don’t want to fall in love with something that you cannot afford.

  6. LENDER COMMUNICATION: It is crucial that you always keep your lender in the loop. If you are actively searching for a home or just getting the process started you will want to check with your lender before making any large purchases or making a career change. Something you might think is a small purchase could completely ruin your chance of getting a loan.

  7. FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE: Find ways to be available during the week for your lenders and Realtors. They are working hard to get you into your home as fast and efficiently as possible. When you take a day or two to get back to them it can potentially set you back days or even weeks in the process of buying a home. Just as you expect them to be available for your every need in the process, they need you to be ‘on call’ throughout the process as well.

  8. EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENT: That potential home your looking at has no feelings towards you! Don’t get emotionally attached to it. Stick to the facts and the numbers. Sometimes it doesn’t work out and you have to keep looking. Remember, shop for your needs and stick to your list. If the list begins to change as you shop, then make sure your Realtor knows.

  9. NOT GETTING HOME INSPECTION: Home inspections are a no brainer, GET ONE! You want to make sure that the home you want to buy is in good standing. An inspection will give you a good idea of what work needs to be completed so that you don’t get in over your head and there are no surprises. Your Realtor is NOT an inspector. Let the experts do their job and higher an inspector. Your Realtor should have a list of a few that will do the job.

  10. TIME TIME TIME: The process of buying a home is not a fast process. Unless you’re coming to the table with cash to buy it right now you need to allow the professionals time to work. After you and your Realtor have found a home for you and an offer is accepted. You should expect 30-45 days before you close. Let the lenders and escrow officers work so that your paperwork is done correctly. Too often buyers are eager to get in the home they just offered on, and they think the process is over…It’s only just begun. Don’t be a pushy buyer. Let the process happen.

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