Welcome back to my blog. I have some major information I want to share with you this week, so let’s dive in. First, take a look at this info-graph below.
This information is coming from Census data and information from the National Association of Realtors. Why is this important? This is important because the fact that there are more buyers in the market than there are homes available. Now, what does that mean for you? It means that if you are not fully prepared when you start your home search, you could lose the opportunity of landing your dream home.
First things first, you need to sit down and figure out your budget. Do not call a mortgage company and ask them, “how much do I qualify for?” That is the WRONG question to ask. What you should do is figure out what is going to be a comfortable monthly payment and how much can you comfortably afford for a down payment on a home. When you have this figured out, then you need to get in contact with a local mortgage expert. They will help guide you through the entire process. Many of them work with local real estate agents, so they can even be a good source to get a recommendation for a Realtor based on where you are looking to buy.
Looking on-line for a home isn’t a bad way to start. It gives you an idea of what kind of homes are on the market and what kind of price point you can expect for the type of home you are looking for. I suggest a website like Realtor.com to start a home search. Any of these other big names sites don’t update nearly as frequently as Realtor.com and realistically they are just there to gather your information and sell it to Realtors and mortgage companies anyways. So stick with Realtor.com or a local real estate company’s home search. You’ll get far better and more accurate results.
So what is the game plan before you go home shopping? The first thing you do is contact a local mortgage professional, like myself *hint *hint* 🙂 and they can help get some of your initial questions answered about the home-buying process. another thing I recommend is gathering together some of your financial documentation and making sure you are well prepared to answer questions that your local mortgage pro might ask. Click here to see a standard checklist of items your mortgage pro will need. Another HUGE thing I want to tell you…for your own benefit…USE SOMEONE LOCAL! I cannot stress this enough. Using these national call center types of companies is not the best idea. First, you’re more than likely going to deal with someone who reads off a script and is extremely inexperienced. Secondly, they do NOT have a vested interest in your success. You are a number and if you close, great. If not, they move on to the next deal. To them, it is a numbers game. Third, local professionals know WAAAY more about the area you are buying in compared to some call center loan officer in another state. Finally, when realtors see that you are working with someone local, you have better odds of getting your offer accepted. Local realtors know who the best mortgage professionals are, and I will tell you that any knowledgeable and successful agent will tell you to use someone local.
I hope this week’s blog has been able to shine some light on the home buying process and why it is important to be prepared when you are searching for homes. Don’t wait if you found that perfect place, because you take a chance of it not being there tomorrow.
Good luck on your home search!