Larry Costa REALTOR®'s Blog
The amount of time it takes to find the perfect residence varies from buyer to buyer. In some instances, a buyer may fall in love with the first residence that he or she views in person. Or, in other cases, a buyer may need to attend several home showings and open house events before he or she finds the right residence.
It ultimately may take more than a single day to find your dream residence. Lucky for you, we are here to help you streamline your quest for your dream house and ensure you can find the right home faster than ever before.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you accelerate your search for your ideal house.
1. Create a List of Homebuying Criteria
You know you want to buy a home as quickly as possible. With a list of homebuying criteria at your disposal, you'll be better equipped than ever before to discover a house that suits you perfectly.
Think about where you'd like to reside and the features you want in your dream house. Then, you can narrow your house search and move one step closer to finding a residence that matches or exceeds your expectations.
2. Get Your Finances in Order
Pre-approval for a mortgage can make a world of difference, particularly for a buyer who wants to speed up his or her home search. If you learn about all of your mortgage options, you can select a mortgage that complements your finances and enter the real estate market with a mortgage in hand.
Many banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists. By meeting with various financial institutions, you can learn about a broad array of mortgage options. Plus, you can receive comprehensive insights into fixed and adjustable-rate mortgages and make an informed mortgage selection.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
For those who want to quickly and effortlessly find their dream residence, it may be beneficial to collaborate with a real estate agent. In fact, a real estate agent can help a homebuyer remove the guesswork commonly associated with searching for a residence.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to discover a great residence at a budget-friendly price. First, he or she will meet with you and learn about your homebuying goals. A real estate agent then will put together a personalized homebuying strategy. Next, a real estate agent will help you put your homebuying strategy into action. And when you discover your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase this house.
As you get ready to conduct a house search, you may want to hire a real estate agent soon. If you have an expert real estate agent at your side, you can get the help you need to find your dream house. Best of all, a real estate agent will go the extra mile to ensure you can seamlessly navigate all stages of the property buying journey.
After a seller accepts your offer to purchase his or her house, it likely will be only a few weeks before you can wrap up your home purchase. And if you understand exactly what to expect during the homebuying process, you should have no trouble eliminating potential hurdles along the way.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you accelerate your journey from homebuyer to homeowner.
1. Conduct a Home Inspection
A home inspection is paramount for a buyer. Because if you encounter home problems during an inspection, you still have an opportunity to back out of a house purchase.
Hire an expert home inspector – you'll be glad you did. This inspector will assess a house both inside and out and offer comprehensive insights into a residence's condition.
Of course, you should always review a home inspection report closely too. This will enable you to analyze a house and determine whether to move forward with a home purchase or reconsider your options.
2. Perform an In-Depth Home Appraisal
Oftentimes, a lender will require an appraisal before you can close on a house. Lucky for you, there are many home appraisers available in cities and towns nationwide, and these property experts can perform an appraisal at your convenience.
Spend some time looking for the top appraisers in your area. By doing so, you can find a home appraiser who will go above and beyond the call of duty to provide an accurate appraisal.
3. Prepare for Closing Day
As closing day approaches, your stress levels may rise accordingly. However, a homebuyer who plans for closing day can stay calm, cool and collected as the homebuying journey reaches its conclusion.
Generally, it is a good idea to prepare any documentation that you'll need for a home closing. If you have all of the necessary documents ready in advance, you can avoid the risk of potential delays when you close on a house.
If you need additional assistance in the weeks or days leading up to a house closing, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent as well. In fact, a real estate agent can offer extensive support as you navigate the homebuying journey.
Initially, a real estate agent will help you narrow your house search and ensure you can find your ideal residence. He or she then will help you prepare a competitive offer for this home. And once your offer is accepted by a seller, a real estate agent will provide plenty of guidance as you get ready to finalize a house purchase.
A real estate agent also will respond to any concerns or questions that you may have throughout the homebuying journey. That way, you can make informed decisions as you pursue your ideal residence.
Get the help you need to wrap up a home purchase – collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can streamline the homebuying journey.
Where do you start when you first consider purchasing a home? Buyers who are new to the real estate market may not know exactly what they want in a house or where they want to live. While the dream homes found online, in magazines, and on your favorite television show are great resources for design and style, visiting open house events will help you to hone in on features that will best serve your household.
When visiting open houses, follow these tips to make the most of your time:
Allow plenty of time for each house on your list. If the home appeals to you, take a few moments afterward to drive or walk around the neighborhood.
Create a list of must-haves’, likes, and dislikes to help you evaluate each property. Add ideas that appeal to you during each open house experience.
Sign in when you arrive but let the hosting agent know if you’ve already selected a real estate agent.
Dress comfortably. You might climb stairs, descend into basements, visit attics, or walk from house to house in the neighborhood so be sure to wear appropriate clothing and shoes.
As you tour, create a list of questions for your real estate agent to address with the selling agent if you plan to submit an offer.
Do not peek into closets, cupboards, pantries, or drawers if the hosting agent indicates are off-limits. Your agent can arrange an in-depth viewing if you’re the property is one you’d like to pursue.
Take note if you smell deodorizers and air fresheners. They could be masking pet odors or could indicate something more serious. If you’re interested in making an offer, ask your agent for help identifying the source before moving forward.
Respect the seller's privacy by not taking photos without the host’s permission.
Questions related to making an offer and other negotiations should be funneled through your real estate agent. If you’re interested in the property, ask your agent to arrange a follow-up viewing. Make a list of all your questions and follow up with your agent as soon as possible especially if you want to make an offer on the property.
Conducting an in-depth home search may prove to be difficult, particularly for individuals with limited time and resources at their disposal. Fortunately, there are lots of things that you can do to streamline your home search and discover your ideal residence without delay.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey.
1. Create Homebuying Criteria
Not all homes are created equal, and the dream house for one buyer may differ from the dream house for another. However, if you craft homebuying criteria, you can define your dream house and map out your property search accordingly.
Think about the features you want to find in your dream residence. For instance, if you want to own a house that features a dazzling backyard, you can explore residences that offer this feature. On the other hand, if you want to purchase a home that boasts multiple bedrooms, you can search for residences that provide plenty of space.
Consider where you want to reside, too. By doing so, you can narrow your home search to residences in a select group of cities and towns.
2. Know Your Homebuying Budget
Get pre-approved for a mortgage – you'll be happy you did. If you enter the real estate market with a mortgage in hand, you'll know exactly how much you can spend to acquire your dream residence. Then, you can search for houses that fall within your price range.
Obtaining a mortgage will require you to meet with banks and credit unions. You should review mortgage options from a variety of banks and credit unions, as this will allow you to select a mortgage that complements your finances.
Don't hesitate to ask mortgage questions, either. Banks and credit unions employ home financing specialists who are ready to respond to your mortgage queries. Plus, these specialists can offer home financing insights to help you make an informed mortgage selection.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with finding a great house at an affordable price. Thankfully, he or she can make it easy for you to conduct an in-depth home search in no time at all.
Typically, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about new houses that become available in your preferred cities or town. If you want to view any of these homes, a real estate agent will set up a house showing. And if you find a home you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase this residence.
As you get set to search for your dream home, you should try to prepare as much as you can. By using the aforementioned tips, you can simplify the process of conducting a comprehensive home search. Best of all, you can use these tips to discover a wonderful home that is sure to serve you well both now and in the future.
While the home buying process is exciting, applying for a mortgage can be time-consuming. Paperwork is a big part of the mortgage process and the better prepared you are, the more likely it is to go well. In fact, if you are considering getting preapproved for a mortgage, lining the paperwork up ahead of time will be very helpful. Remember, the more information provided to your mortgage lender, the easier it will be for them to get your approval. There are three categories of documentation your lender will want to see, income, expenses, and assets. Here are the documents they will likely require:
Verification of Income
Mortgage lenders will typically verify the income you are claiming in two ways. First, they will want to see your most recent Form W2 or Form 1099 (if you are self-employed) and they will generally ask you to provide tax returns. While some lenders will accept signed copies of your tax returns which you provide, many will also use the IRS income tax verification process to ensure what you are providing is the same as the forms filed with the IRS.
You should be prepared to provide at least a month’s worth of pay stubs to a mortgage lender. Keep in mind, in most cases, overtime pay, bonuses, and other “extraordinary” income will not be counted as part of your gross income by the lender.
Verification of Expenses
Your mortgage lender will need to verify your expenses. Since your mortgage application will ask you to list your debt, you should consider getting a free copy of your credit report for two reasons. First, the information on your application will be accurate, and you can verify the data contained in the report is correct. Should there be any errors, you should take the opportunity to have them corrected.
Your mortgage lender may also want to verify your rent payments for at least the last year. You can provide a copy of the checks used to pay your rent, although the lender may ask you to sign a form allowing them to verify your rent independently of any documentation you provide.
Verification of Assets
You may also be asked to provide verification of certain assets. For example, if you have a stock portfolio, IRA accounts, or other liquid assets, the lender may ask you to provide the most recent statements from the custodian of those accounts. Your mortgage lender will let you know what additional information they may need.
This list is not intended to be a comprehensive list of the documents your lender may request. Chances are you will also be asked to provide a copy of your driver’s license or other photo identification. Borrowers who have part of their down payment given to them as a gift may also be required to provide a gift letter indicating the funds were a gift and not a loan. The better prepared you are for the mortgage process the faster it will go.