Buying a home is very exciting and is one of the largest purchases most people will ever make. There are a few things you should know before getting out your checkbook. The tools and information below will help you understand what you need to do to purchase a home in today’s market.
Figure out which mortgage is right for you and Get Pre-Qualified!
Unless you are able to pay cash for your home, most buyers will need to go through the process of applying for a mortgage. By contacting a mortgage loan specialist before you begin your search, you are able to determine the amount of loan for which you qualify. Typically, a borrower is pre-qualified for a loan that amounts to 28%, or less, of their gross monthly income. In addition, if you know the amount of the monthly payment you would be comfortable paying, a mortgage specialist can calculate the price range for your home search. Getting pre-qualified for a loan also increases your chances of your offer being accepted. A seller is more likely to accept an offer from a buyer who already has funding versus one who still needs to get a loan.
|Type of Mortgage
|No surprises. The interest rate stays the same over the entire term, usually 15, 20 or 30 years.
|If interest rates fall, you could be stuck paying a higher rate.
|Adjustable-Rate (ARM) or Variable-Rate Mortgage
|Usually offers a lower initial rate of interest than fixed-rate loans.
|After an initial period, rates fluctuate over the life of the loan When interest rates rise, generally so do your loan payments.
|FHA (Federal Housing Administration) Loan
|Allows buyers who may not qualify for a home loan to obtain one Low down payment.
|size of your loan may be limited.
|Guaranteed loans for eligible veterans, active duty personnel and surviving spouses Offers competitive rates, low or no down payments.
|The size of your loan may be limited.
|Usually a fixed rate loan with relatively low payments for a fixed period.
|After an initial period, the entire balance of the loan is due immediately This type of loan may be risky for some borrowers.
|Borrower pays only the interest on the loan, in monthly payments, for a fixed term.
|After an initial period, the balance of the loan is due. This could mean much higher payments, paying a lump sum or refinancing.
|Allows seniors to convert equity in their homes to cash; you don’t have to pay back the loan and interest as long as you live in the house.
|Subject to aggressive lending practices and false advertising promises, particularly by lenders that prey on seniors. Check to make sure the loan is Federally insured.
Decide which features are must-haves and nice-to-haves.
Figuring out what you need out of your home, what you want out of your home and how to differentiate between the two. There are certain features that you have to absolutely have in the home you purchase and there are some features that you may want, but could live without. Making two lists is the easiest way to discern between the two. This is an important part of the home buying process that you should take a little time with. It will also give you the opportunity to make sure you and your family are on the same page. Some items that should be on your list:
- Price Range
- Neighborhoods or subdivision
- School Districts
- Proximity to work
- Proximity to shopping, hospitals, etc
- Mountain or Water Views
- Number of Bedrooms
- Number of Bathrooms
- Storage Space
- Lot Size
- Fenced Yard
- Pond or Creek
- Patio, Decks, Porches
- Water Source (Well, Town)
Choosing a Realtor® to walk you through the entire process.
Finding the right Realtor® is critical when buying a home specially if it is your first time. Buying a house is a big decision and a lot of work. With the right Realtor® in your corner the process can be enjoyable and when there are bumps in the road you have someone that knows how to deal with them.
How do you find the right Realtor®?
The best way to find the right Realtor® is to do a little research. You can find plenty of Realtors® online and through friends or family which is fine, but don’t be afraid to interview a couple before deciding which one is right for you. You can read reviews online from other buyers that have worked with the Realtor® in the past and ask for references from any Realtor® you interview.
What qualities should I look for in my Realtor®?
- Communication is key. You need someone that is easy to communicate with and easy to get a hold of. Everyone can’t answer their phone 24/7, but they should definitely return your call in a timely fashion.
- Reliability is a must. Having someone you can trust to get things done by a certain date is an absolute must. Real estate contracts have several critical deadlines.
- Knowledge is power. Knowing the local market is crucial to buying the right home for the right price and having someone that understands it all is how you buy the right home.
Now for the fun part, finding the right home for you.
Sign up for a listing manager account on our website to start your real estate search. This will allow you to save properties, save searches, get updates on new properties that match what you are looking for, instant notification if properties you save go under contract and makes it easy to communicate with your Realtor®.
Why should you use our website for your real estate search?
- Our website pulls all of its information directly from the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) which means that the information is up to date, accurate and complete.
- We pull our information directly from the Southwest Virginia and the New River Valley Associations of Realtors® enabling you to search ALL listings for sale from Bristol to Roanoke.
- Room measurements and taxes are just two examples of the information you won’t find on other websites.
- Several different ways to search.
- Basic Search : Area • Price •# Beds/Baths •Square Feet •Lot Size
- Advanced Search : Basic Search + Neighborhood •Views •Garage •Basement •Schools •Interior and Exterior Features •Fireplace •Cooling/Heating and many more
- Address Search : Type in the entire address or just the street name
- Map Search : Set your basic features and move around the map.
- Listing ID : Search for the MLS # or Listing ID #
We hope this information has been helpful and please contact us with any questions you have.