While buying a home is certainly an exciting journey, it is not one to be taken lightly. You will want the confidence from step-by-step preparation, research and guidance from your REALTOR®. These five steps will prepare you to make an informed and confident decision when buying a home!
1. Consider your budget.
- It is important to have enough saved for a down payment, monthly mortgage payments, property taxes, homeowners insurance and closing costs. You will also want extra funds stored for moving costs, unforeseen repair expenses and utility bills.
- Even if you are providing a small percentage for your down payment, try to put down as much as possible. This will help you with smaller future payments.
- When trying to save money, even the smallest actions can make a big difference. Save rather than spend your tax refunds, set aside work bonuses, set up an automatic savings plan that transfers a part of your income into a savings account. These will all help!
- Did you know that being a first-time homebuyer makes you special? Take advantage of Wisconsin Mortgage Corporation’s first-time homebuyer program!
- Ask your Wisconsin Mortgage Corporation Loan Officer about the Federal Housing Administration loan that allows down payments as low as 3.5% and can approve loans to buyers with lower credit scores.
- If you are buying in certain rural or suburban areas, you could look into a U.S. Department of Agriculture loan that requires no down payment.
- There are national and state-level programs for first-time homebuyers that provide down payment assistance, closing cost assistance, tax credits and discounted interest rates.
3. Start your home search.
- Find your REALTOR® here! Shorewest is home to Wisconsin’s most experienced agents and have high referral rates for a reason! Ask them any and all questions that you have, they are here to help you find the home of your dreams.
- Create a need vs. want list. When looking at homes, you will get a clearer picture of amenities you thought you needed but would actually put into the want column.
- Revisit your budget during your search. Now that you’ve seen a few homes, you may want to up your budget or bring it down for what you can get in a house.
4. Make an offer that will stand out.
- Talk to your Shorewest, REALTOR® about the neighborhood and comparable homes that have recently sold. They will guide you to an offer that will make sure the seller knows that you are serious.
- Try to create a clean offer with few contingencies. In our current seller’s market, offers with a lot of contingencies will be overlooked for offers that don’t have these same restrictions.
- Look into earnest money and see if this would be a good option for you. Earnest money is a good-faith gesture and says to the seller that you are serious about purchasing the home.
- Have your pre-approval ready. Being pre-approved for a mortgage loan before an accepted offer will give the sellers confidence that the transaction will close.
- Finally, write a letter to the seller telling them a little about yourself and why you would be the best candidate for the house. Maybe describe a day-in-the-life in your new home or what you would do to preserve the character of the home.
5. Closing the deal.
- Leave your credit score alone until after the home has fully closed. This means do not open any new credit cards, buy furniture or appliances on credit or taking on a car loan. All of these actions will lower your credit score.
- Attend your home inspection and feel free to ask questions! You are allowed to be there for the home inspection and to make sure that the inspector has access to every part of the home.
Buying a home may be the biggest purchase of your life but going through the process with a trusted advisor by your side will ensure that you will be confident and prepared! Take each step at a time and always ask questions. With these tips and your Shorewest, REALTOR®, you too can buy the home of your dream!