Steps to Buying a Home This Spring
With the economy clearing turning around and mortgage rates still extremely low, this spring will be an ideal time to buy a home. If you are thinking of selling, this is also an ideal time to sell as interest rates for buyers are low enabling them to spend more on the house and less on the interest.
If you are a first time home buyer the sooner you start the process the better. All too often first time home buyers wait too late to begin the process and then find themselves under the gun to accept a home that is not ideal, or they wind up extending their lease because they have run out of time. If you are renting and want to buy a house, contacting a REALTOR a year in advance is not too soon – the sooner the better.
If your goal is to buy a house in the next year make sure that everything you do is taking you in that direction. For example: ensuring that your finances are in order is a primary undertaking, but doing some things that may seem to make sense may actually do you more harm than good. That is why it is critical to talk to a REALTOR who can steer you in the steps you need to take. One of the most important things a REALTOR can do is to get you in touch with a mortgage officer who can help you obtain a mortgage that is right for you.
One of the first things many home buyers will do is to begin applying on line for home loans from many different sources. This can actually harm your credit score. A good mortgage officer will sit down with you and analyze your financial status and make recommendations of how to improve your score or to advise you how to maintain your score.
All too often home buyers will come in the office thinking that they are ready to buy a house and they have spent the last year or so paying off and closing their credit cards, but they wind up with little or no cash for the funds they need. Often time there is a fine balance between the cash you have and the credit cards you need to pay down. This is where a professional REALTOR and mortgage officer team can be a big help.
For full disclosure, let me be perfectly honest with you. If you talk to a mortgage officer first they will undoubtedly tell you that you should select a mortgage officer first. If you talk to a REALTOR they will undoubtedly tell you to select a REALTOR first. In reality it makes no difference which you select first as long as they are both working well together.
That being said, I will say that as a REALTOR I do believe it is more productive to select a REALTOR first, and here is why: The REALTOR will be working with you every step of the way. A REALTOR can help you select a mortgage officer, the home you are searching for, a home inspector, closing company, title insurance, home owners insurance company, a moving company, lawn service, painter if needed and on and on. The REALTOR is more of a focal person in this transaction. The mortgage officer, although certainly critical to the process, will deal with only one aspect of the transaction.
If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a REALTOR who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.
As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.