It is a great time to buy for many wanting to be homeowners. Low interest rates coupled with affordable home prices makes this one of the best opportunities in years.
Here are some steps that buyers can take to make their dreams a reality!
1. Check Your Credit Report. Your credit report says a lot about you. Lenders use it to evaluate your risk potential and to inform themselves on how responsible of a borrower you are. They use this report and subsequent score to figure your interest rate. The more stellar your report, the better your score and thus lower your rate.
2. Get Prequalified. It's time to talk to a lender! Pre-qualification will give you a ballpark figure of how much the bank would be willing to lend you. Are you looking for a $100,000 house or a $300,000? Get Preapproved. This is the official letter from the lender that says they will be willing to lend you money. In todays market sellers are looking for buyers who are preapproved.
3. Hire a Realtor. A Realtor can help you navigate the entire process from searching and putting in offers, to where to hire inspectors or general contractors.
4. Downpayment options. Do you qualify for downpayment assistance programs? Will you be able to get an FHA loan and pay 3.5 percent down? Do you have a relative that would like to make a downpayment gift? Many experts recommend a downpayment of 20 percent so be sure to explore your options!
5. Affordability. The bank may tell you that you can afford a home worth $300,000. This does not mean you want to borrow to your max. A more modest home may fit better in your financial plans.
6. Housing Criteria. You have a budget, now develop a list of what you need and want. This can include anything from 3 bedrooms to hardwood floors.
7. Neighborhood choice. Location strongly affects prices. A 3,000 square foot home in a rural area costs a fraction of one in the city. Decide what neighborhoods and areas are the best fit for you. This will help narrow your home search.
8. Start the search! The MLS is a wonderful place to begin your search. Visit www.HerbJohnson.com. Eighty-four percent of buyers now start their search online, so you'll be in good company.
All The Best,