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Getting Started With Your Home Purchase

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It can be difficult for buyers to know where to start when buying a home. When it's time to get serious about buying a home, you need to begin with a firm base of expert advice, so read on and learn more about making your first move a smart one.

Start Here – Make no mistake about it — buying a home is a major financial action. Your first appointment, though, should be with a real estate agent rather than a lender. Speaking with an agent first allows you to gain knowledge over a wider area. The overview provided by a real estate agent covers issues like:

  • The local market conditions and whether they are more favorable for buyers or sellers.
  • What to consider when choosing a home location.
  • How much home you can buy at various price points.
  • Neighborhoods that are on the upswing and those that are in decline.
  • Agents can refer you to all types of real estate professionals you will be doing business with in the coming weeks. Agents know all the best lenders, appraisers, homeowners' insurance people, and home inspectors.
  • Agents are surprisingly knowledgeable about financial matters. They know about special loan programs and can help match you up with the right lender for, things like FHA or VA loans. Agents also know about and can help you understand financing terms, interest rates, and more.

Talk to a Lender – After finding an agent to help you find a home, follow up by getting by facts about your personal financial situation nailed down. A pre-approval from the lender provides buyers with a price range for a home loan that they can comfortably assume will be approved when the time comes. The pre-approval is based on a quick and simple calculation of your current debt obligations and your income. Here's some other common helpful information to carry away from a meeting with a lender:

  1. How to improve or at least maintain your current credit score all the way through the home-buying process. Many buyers make the mistake of being approved for financing and then using available credit on furniture purchases. Making certain moves during the due diligence process can bring down a credit score and prompt a reevaluation of your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio.
  2. The importance of not changing jobs or disturbing savings accounts during the process. Loan approvals are largely built on the stability of the applicant in their career field.
  3. How other housing expenses can affect your approval and your budget later on. That means dealing with property taxes, homeowners' insurance premiums, fees, closing costs, and more.

Get started by contacting a resource like Re/Max Alliance - The Diane Stow Team today.