Home Buyer's GUIDE
Buying a home can sometimes be overwhelming. We want to help make it easier for you by providing a guideline for the things you will need to consider most.
- Take a Good Look at Your Situation
Are you financially prepared to buy a home? What can you afford? Is now the right time? There are many questions to ask yourself before buying a home. Establish a financial plan to allow for mortgage payments, as well as the expected (and sometimes unexpected) costs of owning a home: repairs, miscellaneous services like lawn maintenance or pest control, home improvements. Also, be prepared for other costs before purchasing a home, such as inspections, closing costs and title insurance.
- Target Affordability
Have you ever heard someone say they were "mortgaged up to their eyeballs?" You can avoid making this statement by making sure the home's price tag and the mortgage loan you choose are right for your budget. Factor in homeowner's insurance and property taxes when determining your monthly mortgage payment. To help you determine your monthly mortgage payments, we've provided you with our online calculators.
- Get Pre-Approved
Getting pre-approved prior to your home search can help you select from homes that are priced to meet your budget. You also have a better chance of making a reasonable offer when you find the home that's right for you. Our Mortgage Resource Center representatives will provide you with a mortgage loan quote so you know your affordable price range. You may also visit our Resource Center to get pre-approved online or obtain rate quotes.
- Do Your Research
Most listings (commonly referred to as the Multiple Listing Service or MLS) are now available though online real estate services, such as RB Premier Realty LLC. This makes it much more convenient to view homes meeting your specifications. Our online tool also allows you to research school districts and neighborhood data. A desirable location within a great school district may help increase the property's value. Homeowners associations are also a positive. They normally help maintain common areas of the neighborhood.
- Select The Mortgage That's Right for You
How long will you be living in the home three, five, maybe 10 years? Fifteen to 20 years? From now through your retirement years? This is an important consideration when buying your home. An adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) might be better if you expect to live in the home for a relatively short time. A fixed-rate mortgage might be best if you're most comfortable with knowing your monthly principal and interest portion of your payment will remain the same throughout the life of your loan. There are other factors to consider as well (learn more). You can also use our online calculators to analyze your rates, terms and down payment savings, if applicable. If you need assistance with making a loan choice, our Mortgage Resource Center Representatives will be glad to help.
- Don't Stress Out About The Down Payment
Today, a down payment of 10-20% isn't a necessity. Our mortgage loans can be financed up to 100%, meaning you aren't required to pay a down payment.* Visit our Resource Center, or contact a Mortgage Resource Center representative to determine your best options.
- Seek Expert Advice
These days, you can find volumes of useful information on the Internet. However, it's probably a good idea to talk with an experienced REALTOR who will focus on your best interests. They may be able to provide you additional information you can't find on the web. CU Realty of Texas LLC provides a list of experienced real estate agents on their web site. You can also earn a rebate in the process.
- Have the Home Inspected
Although your soon-to-be acquisition may look great from the inside-out, there may be unseen problems. Consider hiring a licensed, independent home inspector during your option period (a period of usually 10 days that allows you the time to make inspections or address other concerns). He or she should have knowledge of the building codes in your area. Their review of the property will help you make a more informed pre-purchase decision.
- Making The Offer
Make your opening offer based on research of what homes are selling for in the immediate area. Your REALTOR can assist by providing you with recent sales data from similar homes, as well as their market value. What if the seller just recently remodeled with wood-laminate floors or added a swimming pool? An experienced REALTOR can help you determine your best course of action based upon their knowledge of the home, the neighborhood, and comparison to other recent sales.
- Take the Plunge (or Not)!
The house is what you want, and the price is affordable. It's located in a great neighborhood and the inspection came out great. It's now time to close by signing your earnest money contract. This is normally the time when you are also expected to pay your origination fees, closing costs and title insurance. Is title insurance important? You should most definitely consider it. Visit Randolph Brooks Title Company, LLC to learn more.
If the inspection did not come out the way you want, what were the negatives and how much would it take to repair the problems (if they are repairable)? If the cost for repairs outweighs your peace of mind, then it's probably time to reconsider and start your home-buying process over again.
- Before Closing on Your Mortgage Loan...
DO NOT apply for other loans or credit cards and DO NOT make major purchases like new furniture or appliances. It's okay to shop around so you know exactly what you want to buy after the loan is closed, but major purchases or additional debt could affect your debt-to-income ratio and keep you from qualifying for your mortgage loan.
Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) or a second mortgage (piggyback) may be required if down payment is less than 20 percent. Loans requiring PMI or piggyback financing are subject to additional qualifications.