Buyer’s Checklist: Ready to Buy?

Buyer’s Checklist: Ready to Buy?

You’ve decided you want to buy a home. Congratulations! You looked at your credit, your finances, your savings and You are READY TO BUY! (but are you really?) Below is a checklist to go through to make sure you have all of your ducks in a row before you start home shopping:

Get Prequalified* If you are going to be purchasing a home financed through a mortgage, make sure you get prequalified BEFORE even looking at homes on Zillow, Realtor.com, Redfin, Trulia, Homes.com, Homesnap or anywhere else get prequalified.
*If you are buying cash skip this step.

SEE STEP 1* I just want to reemphasize the importance of getting prequalified if you are getting a mortgage. Why? Because mortgage calculators can be off, your credit profile can be different than what you think, you might be looking at too much home, you can’t afford it, you might be looking at too little home than what you need and can afford. How can you know how much home you can afford if you don’t get prequalified. One lender can give you a good idea, but I encourage to speak to different lenders, find a lender that suits your situation.
*If you are buying cash skip this step.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION You always hear this when it comes to real estate, but it is always referring to prime real estate that is hot and trendy, but what location is best for your situation? Based on your preapproval or cash budget, what neighborhoods can you afford to live in, and out of those which ones would you want to have your home in. A good real estate agent should be able to guide you towards the best possible options and even introduce you to areas that you had not thought about.

Living Rooms, and Bedrooms, and Baths Oh My! How much space do you need and/or want? What is important to you? In this step, I like for my clients to think outside the box, do you really need a formal living room and a family room? Do you need 3 full bathrooms or would 2.5 be sufficient? Can you convert an area into a 4th bedroom? You need to set a baseline of the minimum amount of total space you need, broken down into rooms, and based again on your budget.

Monthly Budget Although a preapproval gives you an amount that you have been prequalified for, it really isn’t an exact number. Your mortgage qualification will depend not only on a home’s purchase price, but also the home’s property taxes, association fees, and any other monthly dues that might be associated with the home. A good real estate agent should be able to give you the different information, and your lender can break down your estimated monthly payments.

Shopping Time It is very important not to overwhelm yourself viewing properties. you might be tempted to scroll through an app endlessly, but each one of those homes have specifics that can change your buying scenario. This is why I suggest buyer’s work with licensed real estate agents. Realtors can guide you, and help you find the perfect home. Don’t work an agent who adds you to an auto mailer where you get countless homes as they come out with out them being prescreened. An agent should prescreen homes for you and give you the best options based on your individual scenario.

I would love to help you with any questions you might have. Be sure to contact me for help.

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