Buyer Tips

My goal is to make finding and purchasing a home the most pleasant experience possible. I am fully dedicated to providing you with excellent, professional, real estate services. Here are some tips that you may find helpful in your search for a new home.


Getting started on finding a new home Image HereTOP of page

New home considerations:

  • Location of new home to work, schools, and shopping.
  • Style of home and criteria; two story, ranch, condo, townhouse, back yard, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, etc.
  • Price Range and affordability of the new home.
  • Check mortgage rates and select a mortgage lender.
  • Search and select a Realtor to assist you with your home search.

General Buyer Tips

  • Obtain your credit report and update your information. Correct any errors.
  • Follow the market by checking the real estate advertisement in newspapers and the internet at online realty home search sites. This will familiarize you with the current market prices.
  • Visit open houses on weekends to view various features of homes on the market.
  • Check your savings - you'll need cash for your down payment and closing costs.
  • Reduce debt and pay down your credit cards. Avoid major purchases on credit.
  • Your Realtor can help you determine how much home you can afford. They can provide you with information on homes that may interest you. Your Realtor will also help you complete any formal offers.
Frequently Asked Financial Questions Image HereTOP of page

What is prequalified?

Prequalification is a discussion between a home buyer and a loan officer regarding the buyer's basic information such as; income, monthly debts, credit history and assets to calculate an estimated mortgage amount that the home buyer can afford. A prequalification is not a full mortgage approval.

What is preapproved?

The Preapproval process uses basic information along with electronic credit reporting to normally make a true mortgage commitment to the home buyer. Thus, the lender commits to financing your home and indicates the total mortgage amount available to you. How many mortgage programs are offered? There are many mortgage products available on the market. Here is a sampling of those available:

  • New construction financing
  • VA and FHA loans
  • Adjustable rate loans
  • 15, 20, and 30-year fixed rate loans
  • 5 and 7-year balloon loans
  • Mortgage products vary from lender to lender, and have their own benefits and disadvantages. You will need to talk to your financial institution to find out which mortgage product is best for you.

How quick is the mortgage application process?

Depending upon the lending institution, it can take as little as 7 days or as long as 90 days. Most commonly it takes between 30 to 60 days. The actual time dependent upon how quickly the lender completes the appraisal of the property, credit reports and employment and bank account verification.

What documents will I have to provide?

You will need to provide a verification of income normally consisting of recent pay stubs and a recent tax return. You will also need bank account numbers and details on your long-term debt, including credit cards, auto loans, child support, etc. If you're self-employed you may also be required to provide financial statements for your business.

Could my loan approval be delayed?

Normally there are no delays, provided the information you give to your lender is complete and accurate. However, if the lender discovers any credit problems such as a history of late payments or nonpayment of debts, or a tax lien, your loan could be delayed pending additional explanations or clarifications. Your loan may also be delayed if your current personal financial status changes for reasons of employment, salary changes, or marital status. Other reasons for delays include below purchase price appraisals of property.

What's included in my house payment?

Principal and interest on your loan. Depending on the terms of your loan, the payment may also include homeowners insurance, mortgage insurance and property taxes.");

Can I pay homeowners insurance, mortgage insurance and property taxes separately?

Not if our loan is an FHA or VA-insured loan. With most other loans you can pay your own taxes and insurance if you have borrowed no more than 80% of the purchase price or appraised value of your home. Check with your lender.

What do the closing costs include?

Closing costs cover the processing and administration expenses of processing your loan. In addition to a loan fee, you'll usually be asked to prepay interest charges, to cover the partial month in which you close, and impounds for your property taxes, hazard insurance and mortgage insurance.

How soon do new mortgage payments start?

Normally new payments begin about 30 days after closing. The actual due date of your first payment will be included in your closing documents.

House Hunting Tips Image HereTOP of page

The key to finding your dream home begins with preparation and organization.

Here are a few house hunting tips:
  • Make a new home checklist. Prioritize the features and amenities you desire, along with their importance. You may not be able to get all your wishes.
  • Get mortgage pre-approval. Pre-approval give you an idea of the price range you can afford.
  • Location. Location is the most important element of home searching. Only you can determine what location is best for you. Consider your commute to school, work, and shopping. Consider community services such as public transportation and hospitals. Your home is an investment, consider future resale value.
  • Surf the Web. One of the best places to start your home search is on the Internet. You can search for properties, determine mortgage payments, and research communities.
  • Seek professional help. Realtors are experts in real estate. They will provide you with the services needed to research, locate, negotiate and purchase your new home.
  • Take notes. Note the pros and cons of each home you visit to help determine which home is right for you.
  • Take Pictures. Take pictures of the homes you visit to help you remember the features you liked or disliked about the properties you visited.
  • Bring friends or relatives. Bringing along others to view potential homes will give you an opportunity to get other opinions of the property being considered.
Use The Internet Image HereTOP of page

The best place to begin your real estate search is online. The Internet allows you to search for new a home and research the market from the comfort of home.

Here are a few Internet Tips:

  • Simple search tools. Most Real estate web sites have search forms that make easy to search for homes based upon your parameters of price, number of bedrooms and baths, the type of home, etc.
  • Virtual tours. These tours allow you to pivot the view 360 degrees in all directions around select rooms.
  • Community Information. Many of the real estate web sites have links to community information, such as village hall, chamber of commerce, neighborhood demographics, school reports and local services.
  • Financial Services. You can also search for lenders and apply for a mortgage online. Many sites have additional features to such as monthly payment calculators, links to homeowner's insurance, and more real estate web sites.
  • 24-hour accessibility. Online home searches are convenient, and can be done anytime from any computer with Internet access.
  • Open house Tours and maps. The Internet makes it easy to obtain a list of open houses along with maps and driving directions between each listing.
  • Relocation Information. If you are relocating to a new area, many web sites offer relocation information. Some sites allow you to request free relocation packages that are sent directly to you.
Moving with Kids Image HereTOP of page

Relocating can be a stressful event for children. Making the move a positive experience for the children can lower the stress for everyone. Here are a few tips.

  • Keep your children involved. Keeping your children informed will help keep them involved with the move. Encourage their involvement with packing, unpacking, and exploring the new community.
  • Share opinions. Share with your children the decisions whenever possible.
  • Remain positive. Focus on the positive aspects of your move. Point out positive details, such as pools, parks, location to relatives, etc.
  • Remain Assured. reassure your children that they will meet many new friends and have lots of things to do in their new neighborhood and at their new school.
  • Show the children their new home. Bring the children to the new home if possible. Otherwise, give them pictures and videos to familiarize them with their new home prior to moving.
  • Find places that will interest your children. Prior to moving, find places that will interest your children, such as pools, stores, parks, sports complexes, etc.
  • Research the schools. Learn as much as possible about the schools in the new community.
  • Plan to stay connected. Host farewell parties give your children an opportunity to say good-bye to their friends. Plan ways to stay in touch with future visits, email, letters and phone calls.
Why work with a Realtor®? Image HereTOP of page

Here are several reasons for working with a professional realtor when purchasing your new home.

  • Realtors will help you analyze your financial situation to determine how much home you can afford.
  • Realtors are familiar with the home buying process, therefore they can answer your questions.
  • Realtors have easily access to information on all properties listed for sale by Realtors in your area.
  • Realtors can set up appointments for you to see homes that interest you.
  • Realtors will assist you when filling out the necessary paperwork when it is time to make an offer.
  • Realtors will assist you when arranging financing.
  • Realtors will prepare a negotiation strategy for the property you have selected.
  • Realtors keep you informed on the progress of your purchase agreement.
  • Realtors can help evaluate features of a property that may affect its value and future resale.
  • Realtors are there at closing to answer your questions and make sure everything runs smooth as possible.
Choosing a Realtor® Image HereTOP of page

It is important to select a Realtor you are comfortable with, since you will spend a fair amount of time with your Realtor during the home searching progress. Here are a few tips when choosing a Realtor.

  • Do they return your phone calls promptly?
  • Do they explain your questions clearly?
  • Do they ask you questions to determine what you want or need in a property?
  • Do they seem knowledgeable about the community?
  • Do they answer questions regarding financing?
  • Do they assist in a financial analysis to help you determine how much you can afford?
  • Do you feel comfortable spending time with them?