You’ve considered the first steps, and you’re ready to buy your house! What’s next?
Understanding Loan Options
Have you ever wondered which type of loan is the best to use when buying a home? Choosing the right program can be a crucial and challenging decision in the process – but as a mortgage broker, this is what I help clients do every day. Let me give you a breakdown of the basics.
Start by assessing your financial situation and long-term goals. For example, do you want lower monthly payments, or do you want to build equity faster? Understanding your priorities will really help guide your decision-making process.
Next, decide if you want a fixed or adjustable rate. Fixed rate loans keep your principal and interest payment the same throughout the loan’s life, while adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) offer lower initial rates for the first few years before adjusting periodically. Additionally, loan terms vary from 10-30 years for most loans, with shorter teams leading to bigger monthly payments (but less interest paid).
Finally, you’ll be ready to decide which mortgage program best meets your needs. This will be decided on what you qualify for (like credit score or property type) and your payment preferences (like required downpayment or interest rate).
Getting preapproved to buy a home should not be an afterthought or something that you tackle after you’ve found a house you love. As a mortgage broker, I’ll never stop talking about how crucial a solid preapproval is for a smooth homebuying journey! It helps you know your budget and shows agents and sellers that you’re serious.
If buying a home is in your future, you have the option to get prequalified. Prequalification is a basic assessment of credit score, income, and assets that you inform us of. It’s easy to get, but less reliable since nothing is verified.
An actual preapproval, however, goes the extra mile. It involves pulling your credit score (this can start with a soft check) as well as verification of your income and assets with documentation such as W-2s, tax returns, and bank statements. We’ll review all your information and get ahead of any potential roadblocks that could cause issues later on. This way you can shop for a home confidently, with a strong and credible foundation.
Buying a home doesn’t need to be as stressful as it can sound! Having a strong plan and preapproval goes a long way.
Choosing an Agent
If you’ve ever wondered why some people say they hate real estate agents, I can explain! For some background: as a mortgage broker, I’ve worked with thousands of realtors over the years. When someone’s buying a home, we work side by side for weeks (or sometimes months!) at a time.
Here’s the thing: a subpar realtor can really muck up a deal. But a great realtor will help you make smart financial decisions that can benefit you for decades and save you thousands.
Here’s how to find the right agent for you:
- Find an agent who has prior experience in your desired area – someone who understands the area’s dynamics well.
- Ask for personal recommendations from friends and family instead of choosing randomly.
- Consider their negotiation expertise within your price range.
- Discuss communication expectations and ensure they align with your needs.
- Check their reviews and social media for clues on how you'll get along, because you need to find someone you actually enjoy spending time with!
Partnering with the right real estate agent can make all the difference in finding your dream home. Take the time to choose wisely, and make sure you’re getting answers you can trust!