It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that homeownership can be much more financially beneficial than renting in any stable market, no matter what part of the world you live in. What most people DON’T know is how to get from “tenant” to “homeowner”. It may be much more feasible than you think:
1) Get in touch with a realtor (hopefully that’s me!). Discuss your goals with your realtor to get a game plan put together from start to finish. He/she should be able and willing to explain the homebuying process from start to finish in terms that you understand, not using a bunch of real estate lingo. The more you understand about how the process works and the sequence of events that will take place throughout the process, the more comfortable and stress-free you will be.
2) Get in touch with a lender to see how you stack up from a financeability standpoint and ultimately get preapproved for a mortgage. This will tell you how much you can afford in the lender’s eyes and how much money you will need to save for a down payment. If your realtor has been in the business for a while he/she should have a lender or two that they prefer to work with and can refer you to. Although using a realtor/lender duo that is already familiar with one another can make for a much smoother process, it is ultimately your decision as to who you want to use to obtain your mortgage. Your loan officer will be able to tell you what your credit looks like and uncover any hidden defects that could be currently preventing you from getting approved for a loan or costing you money in “points” or interest rate to get the loan. I always like this to be done about 4 to 6 months prior to the timeframe that you would like to close escrow just in case there is anything that needs to be disputed or cleared from your credit which can take several months.
3) Once your credit situation is all sorted or even while it’s being sorted your realtor can set up a personalized “portal” for you based on your personal search preferences and the purchase price that your lender determines will be feasible for you. This will give you direct access to listings on the MLS that are within your search parameters. You can make notes within your portal, keep tabs on how the market is acting, and most importantly you can have it automatically notify you once a new home within your search preferences hits the market so you are seeing it just as quickly as your realtor.
4) Abide by the 10 Commandments! If you break any of these commandments prior to closing escrow it could set you back several months or even years. To sum them all up in a nutshell, don’t make any financial changes without consulting your realtor and lender first!
5) Start looking at homes with your realtor! With the technology available to us on the MLS in this day and age the vast majority of the elimination process can be done behind your computer, but if you see something that you even remotely think could be a good fit GO SEE IT!
At the time of writing this blog post interest rates are still at some of the lowest levels they have EVER seen and there are even loan programs available that allow you to purchase a home with less out of pocket than it would cost to rent.
Want to chat more about your options? We’re ready when you are!