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Tuesday, December 14, 2010
There’s no doubt about it – there are a great many bargains in the real estate market today if you’re a person looking for a new home. However, we highly recommend that you don’t get dazzled by all the opportunities and make a potentially expensive and poor decision. To that end, I’d like to offer you some common-sense guidelines to follow.
Guideline 1: Pay Attention to Your Budget
Before beginning your search for that new home, sit down and come up with a monthly payment you can handle with ease and then look for the house that fits that budget.
Guideline 2: Save Up for a Down Payment
Due to the “mortgage meltdown,” lenders are currently much more cautious about giving out money. Depending on the situation, they may insist on a minimum down payment of 10% or one that’s all the way up to 25%. So, start saving!
Guideline 3: Improve Your Credit Score
A good credit score is a great way to make the whole process easier when you apply for a loan. Today’s lenders scrutinize such scores more closely today than in the past. If you don’t have a good score, work hard to get it up into an acceptable range. It’ll save you money on interest charges and down payments in the long run!
Guideline 4: Get a Pre-Approved Mortgage Loan
If you’re a first-time home buyer or simply a buyer who wants to make sure you stay within your means, it’s a wise idea to get a pre-approved mortgage.This is simply the process of applying for a mortgage and getting approval for the loan prior to buying a home.
A “pre-approval” is an indication that the lender is ready to extend a mortgage to you once you’ve located the right property. And it has several benefits. First of all, it saves time and energy. Once you have a pre-approved loan amount, you’re required to stay within the limits of that loan in terms of the price you’ll pay for a house.
First, when working with a realtor, ask him or her to limit the choices to those stated in the loan. This prevents the agent from showing you properties which are out of your range. By the way, they’ll really appreciate those parameters because it’ll help them zero in on properties with the best chance of sale!
Second, you can spend more time looking at homes you really like and, simultaneously, not wasting time on houses that aren’t within your budget. This allows you to focus on the details of the homes you do like in order to make sure you select the right one; for example, kitchens, baths, garages, etc.
Third, you can bargain more effectively with sellers once they know you’re pre-approved. In the current market, that’s a great relief for many sellers because they realize they have a reasonable certainty of selling their property when working with a pre-approved buyer.
Fourth, you can close faster with a pre-approved loan because there’s no time lost in the usual processing period for loans. For example, an appraisal can be ordered right away, and you have the potential to cut a 30-day closing to two or three weeks.
Finally, the seller will prefer to deal with you, particularly if he or she needs to move quickly.
Now, you have some common-sense guidelines to follow when seeking a new home in today’s market! You can learn even more by contacting us today.