Select Your
Agent Carefully
This is probably the most important single piece of advice you can get. Find an agent you can trust, someone with whom you can share confidences, someone you know will "go the extra mile" for your benefit. Feel free to ask for references and check them out. Make sure your agent is knowledgeable about the local real estate market and the financing options available. In short, work with us here at Early Sunrise Realty LLC!
Get pre-qualified
for your mortgage--
and then pre-approved.
Pre-qualification is the process by which you sit with your agent and figure the maximum amount of mortgage for which you can expect to be approved-- this can be done in a matter of minutes. Pre-approval involves repeating the process with your lender, locking them into a maximum amount, term and rate. Doing this before your search ensures that you'll be looking for a home in the price range you can really afford-- not 'way above or below.
Make a list of your
"Dream Home's" features
This is the fun part-- dreaming about the new house. Don't be shy. Make the list complete as you care to. Then go over the list with your agent to get an expert opinion of what you can-- and cannot-- afford.
Identify Your
Resources
We're talking about money-- savings, gifts, liquid assets. The more money you can come up with, the more house you can afford and the better your loan terms will be. This in not the time to be buying a new car, as bad as you may need and want one. Make the big purchase first, and fill the garage later. Don't pay off existing debts prematurely-- it's often better to apply those resources to your down payment. Ask your agent for timely information on mortgage, consumer credit and other financial rates and figure as conservatively as possible.
Plan Your Time wisely Time is money-- the more you have, the better decision you can make. Plan to set aside weekends and hours after work, lining up day care ahead of time. Make time to see at least four or five potential homes-- more if possible. Plan ahead for requirements like the appraisal, termite inspection and title preparation. Don't rush, but work with your agent to maximize the use of your time.
Educate Yourself If this is your first time homebuying, read up on real estate terminology. You need to know terms like "escrow", "abstract" and "contingency". Learn the advantages and limitations of ARM's, FHA loans and other financial instruments. Talk to others who have recently bought homes and learn what pitfalls to avoid. Learn the prices of homes that have recently sold in your target area. Use the expertise of your agent-- there are no dumb questions, but there are expensive mistakes.
Decide Take a deep breath-- and make the committment. Don't expect to find the "perfect" home or the "steal of the century", but do expect to be dealt with fairly. Expect to make a small, sensible investment, starting where you have to and building to where you want to be-- building toward the home of your dreams, and the life your family deserves. Your future is at the closing table. Good luck!

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All information contained herein is deemed reliable and complete at the time of publication, but verbal confirmation should always be obtained before making important decisions. All properties are suject to prior sale or rental.

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