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Every homebuyer has a number of concerns, all of which we can help with:

Setting a reasonable Time Frame
There are many variables in the home-buying process, meaning the time it takes to find and buy your new home varies. A typical home search process may take three to four months, or longer, including the mortgage approval process, comparing and evaluating properties, making an offer, getting our inspections and the closing process. The loan process typically takes 30-45 days, with the ability do close a cash deal in about 10-14 days.

Mortgage Process
Perhaps one of the most intimidating aspects of buying a home is the mortgage approval process. We’ll be here to help guide you through this, but there are many ways you can prepare early to make the process smoother. Start by making sure your budget is under control–make a list of all your monthly expenses, compare it with your income, and see if adjustments need to be made. You should also try to pay off small credit card balances. Start gathering documents you may need, such as W-2 forms, income tax returns for the past few years, pay stubs, records of child support or alimony, bank statements for the past several months, and your credit report. Also, be sure to allow for closing costs. I work with a preferred Lender, she has been able to get the deals closed for my clients before, during and after the housing bubble. There are a lot of changes in the way loans are approved these days as compared to 5 years ago. Getting an online quote is a place to start but close to worthless as far as using them to fund your loan. I want you to have a person that is local and accountable to you! Have you ever had a friend tell you they can not get a hold of their online lender? I have, its not any fun.

How Much Home can I Afford?
A guideline to consider is that most buyers purchase a home that costs about one and a half to two and half times their current annual income. For example, someone earning $100,000 a year might purchase a home for $150,000 to $200,000. Mortgage payments should be about 26-28 percent of your gross monthly income, some underwriters will take this number up to 30-31%. Existing debt is also considered in the mortgage process, and total debt payments (car payments, credit cards, student loans, etc.) should not exceed 40 percent of your gross monthly income. Paying down your debt can help you qualify for more home, you really need a quality lender that is working in the industry full-time.

Home Shopping
Before you start looking at properties, make a list of “must-have” features along with optional features you’d like to have. “Must-have” features may include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you’ll need to accommodate your family, location (consider commute to work, which schools your children will attend, etc.), lot size and special needs (handicapped access, etc.). Optional features may include the architectural styling, bay windows, landscaping, etc. Having a clear idea of what you want in a home will help your REALTORĀ® find the perfect property for you. Also the deal breakers: which might be too big of a lot, certain area’s in town,etc. Knowing what your deal makers and deal breakers are when you start looking gets you off on the right foot. I also recommend that you keep notes when you are viewing homes for two reasons: One if you see more than 2 homes in a day you can get the features confused; Two if you see a deal maker or breaker you can write it down and share it with your realtor and family members.

Taking the time to educate yourself about the home-buying process is key to getting a home you love and can afford. As your REALTORĀ®, we are here to answer any questions you might have and guide you through this process.

Want help taking the stress out of the process? Ask me for my E book