Nicholas Desantis' Blog
Buying a home is a process that can seem daunting and even a little scary to most first-time buyers. After all, being a homeowner is a huge financial and personal responsibility.
To make this lengthy process a bit more approachable, we’re going to break it down into five steps. While these five steps may be somewhat different for each person, depending on their own unique situation, they do comprise most home buyer’s experience.
If you’re interested in learning the steps you’ll need to take before owning your first home, read on.
Step 1: Know your long-term goals
Before you buy a home, you’ll want to have a clear understanding of what you, your spouse, and your family want from the next five or more years. You’ll want to make sure the area you’re moving to can provide things like career advancement and opportunity, good schools for your children, and so on.
These questions may seem obvious, but it’s an important conversation to have before making the long-term commitment of owning a home.
Step 2: Your budget and your needs
It might be tempting to hop online and start shopping for houses, but first you should get a clear idea of the size and cost of the house you’re looking for. This involves determining your budget, thinking about your credit and planning for your down payment.
Step 3: Mortgage pre-approval
Getting preapproved for a mortgage can be a great way to gauge the interest late and loan amount you’ll be approved for. You’ll need to gather paperwork, including income information (pay stubs), tax returns, and W-2 forms.
Be aware that lenders will run a detailed credit report. Since credit reports count as an inquiry, they can temporarily lower your credit score by a few points.
Applying to several lenders within a short period of time can make a significant impact on your score. However, it will start to rise again within a few months if you don’t open any new credit accounts or take out other loans.
Step 4: Get an agent
Real estate agents know the ins and outs of the home buying process better than anyone else. They’ll be able to guide you through the process and provide you with information that you can’t get anywhere else.
Step 5: Pick the right home for you
Now it’s time to start home shopping. However, before you begin, remember that getting approved for a loan doesn’t mean you must or should seek to spend the full amount on a home.
Plan for your needs, and keep the future in mind. Someday you might decide to upgrade, but in the meantime you can be building your credit and building equity in a smaller or more frugal home.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage may prove to be a long, arduous process if you are not careful. Fortunately, homebuyers who plan ahead should have no trouble obtaining a mortgage so they can enter the housing market with a budget in hand.
Ultimately, there are many questions to consider as you assess your mortgage options, and these questions include:
1. What type of mortgage should I get?
The two most common types of mortgages are adjustable- and fixed-rate varieties. If you understand the differences between these mortgage options, you can make an informed mortgage decision.
An adjustable-rate mortgage generally features a lower initial interest rate than a fixed-rate option. However, after a set amount of time, an adjustable-rate mortgage's interest rate will increase.
Comparatively, a fixed-rate mortgage has an interest rate that will remain intact for the life of your mortgage. This means you will pay the same amount each month until your mortgage is paid in full.
When it comes to deciding between an adjustable- and fixed-rate mortgage, it pays to look at the pros and cons of both options. Remember, no two homebuyers are exactly alike, and a mortgage that works well for one buyer may not work well for another. But if you evaluate adjustable- and fixed-rate mortgages closely, you can make the best-possible decision.
2. What differentiates an ordinary lender from an outstanding one?
There is no need to settle for an "ordinary" lender as you pursue mortgage options. Instead, you should seek out an exceptional lender that goes above and beyond the call of duty to assist you.
Typically, an outstanding lender employs mortgage specialists who are ready to respond to any concerns or questions. These specialists can help you evaluate a broad array of mortgage options and decide which mortgage best suits your individual needs.
Don't be afraid to meet with several banks and credit unions, either. This will allow you to assess many lenders and select one that matches or exceeds your expectations.
3. Which mortgage should I select?
There is no one-size-fits-all mortgage that works well for all homebuyers, at all times. As such, you should conduct plenty of research as you explore your mortgage options. This research will enable you to analyze assorted mortgages and lenders and make the optimal choices.
Once you have a mortgage, you can move one step closer to acquiring your dream house. And if you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can receive expert support at each stage of the homebuying journey.
A real estate agent is a must-have for any homebuyer, regardless of the current housing market's conditions. This housing market professional can teach you everything you need to know about buying a house. Also, he or she can help you examine a vast collection of available houses.
Ready to kick off a house search? Get pre-approved for a mortgage, and you can enter the housing market with a homebuying budget at your disposal.
Buying a home will likely be one of the largest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime. While this may seem scary at first, it’s worth noting that buying a home can also be a valuable financial investment.
When it comes to preparing to buy a home, many people just wait until they run out of room in their apartment before deciding that they need to upgrade to a home. A better approach, however, would be to start planning for your first home a year or more in advance.
Saving for a down payment is a vital step to making the best long-term financial decision. A larger down payment can help you pay off your home sooner, pay thousands or tens of thousands less in interest, and start using your home equity as an asset.
But, saving for a down payment is easier said than done. So, in this post, we’re going to talk about some of the ways you can aggressively save for a down payment so that, when the time comes, you can achieve long-term financial security from your investment.
Setting your savings goals
The first thing you should be thinking about when saving for a down payment is what your goals are in a home. Setting realistic goals in this phase will make saving for your down payment more feasible and less discouraging.
Think about what you really need from a home at this point in your life and compromise where you can.
Remember that on top of your monthly mortgage payments, you’ll likely also be paying for taxes, insurance, utilities, homeowners association fees, and more.
Save on a timeline
When setting your savings goal, make sure you’re aware of the timeframe you’re working with. If you want to buy a home next year, you’ll need to focus on short-term savings options. However, if you’re okay with renting for the next 5 years, investing your money could be a better option.
Lock away your savings
Treat your down payment savings like an emergency fund. Open a separate account, automatically deposit a portion of your pay into the account, and never withdraw from it. To do this, you will, of course, need to already have an emergency fund with a month’s expenses in it.
However, once you’ve established your emergency fund, start immediately depositing into your savings account.
Pay off credit cards
It may seem like saving for a down payment is more pressing than paying off old debt. However, the numbers will show that making interest payments on your credit cards is essentially throwing away money that could have been used toward your down payment savings.
Adjust your spending habits
While it isn’t easy to start spending less once you’ve built a standard of living, there are ways to spend less money and still lead a fulfilling life. Think about where your money goes each month, including bills and services you might pay for.
Now could be the best time to cut the cord and start using a service like Hulu to save $50 or more each month.
Time for a raise?
If it’s been some time since your last pay raise, now could be an ideal time to speak with your employer. To improve your chances of success, don’t discuss reasons outside of work that might be influencing your decision to ask for a raise (such as saving for a down payment). Rather, back up your request with evidence of your accomplishments at work.
The homebuying journey may prove to be difficult, and assorted challenges may arise that make it tough to quickly find and buy your dream house. Whether it's encountering problems during a home inspection or negotiating a house price with a property seller, there is no telling what may happen during your pursuit of your dream home. However, if you know how to handle homebuying challenges that come your way, you'll be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a seamless homebuying experience.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you tackle various homebuying challenges.
1. Stay Patient
When you are faced with a homebuying hurdle, it is important to remember that every problem has a solution. Thus, if you take a calm, cool and collected approach to a homebuying issue, you can find the best way to alleviate this problem.
A patient homebuyer usually is a successful homebuyer, and for good reason. If you maintain patience as you navigate the homebuying journey, you can analyze problems that come your way and allocate the necessary time and resources to solve them. And as a result, you may be able to speed up the homebuying journey and acquire your dream residence in no time at all.
2. Consider Your Options Closely
As you encounter homebuying hurdles, you should consider your options closely. That way, you can weigh the pros and cons of potential homebuying decisions and make informed choices as you try to buy your ideal residence.
Sometimes, it may be beneficial to consult with family members and friends too. If you reach out to loved ones for support, they may be able to help you make the best-possible decisions throughout the homebuying journey.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
When it comes to purchasing a home, you may require expert assistance. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals can help you overcome property buying issues.
A real estate agent is committed to your homebuying success, and as such, will work with you to make your homeownership dream come true. Therefore, if you want to acquire a city residence as quickly as possible, a real estate agent can help you do just that. On the other hand, if you want to purchase a small town home at an affordable price, a real estate agent will help you accomplish your desired result.
Let's not forget about the comprehensive guidance a real estate agent can provide as you search for your dream residence, either. A real estate agent can teach you everything you need to know about the housing market. By doing so, he or she can help you identify and resolve homebuying problems before they escalate.
For those who want to streamline the homebuying journey, it helps to prepare. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can reduce or eliminate homebuying hurdles and purchase your dream house without delay.
If you intend to buy a house, you may want to employ a home inspector. In fact, there are many reasons why a buyer may hire a house inspector, such as:
1. You want to identify any underlying home problems.
Although you may have walked through a house a few times before you submitted an offer to purchase, a house inspection allows you to receive comprehensive insights into a residence. Once you have a home inspection report in hand, you can assess any underlying house problems and plan accordingly.
A home inspection is conducted by a property expert who will analyze all areas of a house. Plus, you can attend an inspection and walk through a house with an inspector to obtain firsthand insights into a residence's condition. As a result, you can use an inspection to identify any underlying house problems before you finalize a home purchase.
2. You want to determine if you should follow through with your original offer to purchase.
A home inspection may reveal both minor and major issues with a house. Meanwhile, as a buyer, you will need to determine if you want to continue with your home purchase after an inspection. On the other hand, you may want to modify your initial offer to purchase or rescind your homebuying proposal following an inspection.
Ultimately, a home inspection provides insights into a home that you otherwise may have struggled to obtain on your own. You also can ask a home inspector to address any concerns or questions about a house following an inspection. And when you have a home inspection report in hand, you can review the results of this report to determine if a house is right for you.
3. You want to make the best-possible homebuying decision.
A home purchase likely is one of the biggest transactions you will complete in your lifetime. Thus, there is no need to cut corners as you try to accelerate the homebuying journey. Because if you forgo a home inspection, you could suffer the consequences of this decision in the near future.
When it comes to purchasing a home, it helps to gain as much information about a residence as you can. Thanks to a home inspection, you can use a wide array of information to analyze a house. With this information at your disposal, you can make the best-possible homebuying decision based on your individual needs.
As you navigate the homebuying journey, you may want to employ a real estate agent, too. In addition to helping you find your dream residence, a real estate agent will guide you through the home inspection process. He or she first will help you find a qualified inspector to analyze a house you want to buy. Furthermore, a real estate agent will attend a home inspection with you and help you assess the results of a house inspection report.
Ready to complete a successful home purchase? Conduct an inspection prior to completing a home purchase, and you can obtain the insights you need to make an informed homebuying decision.