Are you thinking about buying a home or condo this year? Seriously? You're not going to make up any of those same old excuses you have for the past several years? What's different this year? Oh! You've seen home prices skyrocket over the past few years. And you missed out, big time! On top of that, I imagine your rent is probably getting out of hand as well. Try moving to a different apartment or rental and it will hurt even more.
It's time to stop the madness! Yes, I have basketball on the brain and can't wait for March Madness. My point is that real estate is a spectator sport and you need to get in the game. Let me see your game face! Needs more practice. Kidding aside, if you plan on buying a home, there's no better time than the present. No, it's not too soon to get started. You're already making excuses in your head. Stop it!
Here are two steps you can take to get you started on your journey.........
- OBTAIN FINANCING - Unless you have cash to purchase a home, it would be a good idea to find out if you can get PRE-APPROVED for a home loan. Not pre-qualified, pre-approved. Going online to ABC company and putting in your income is not going to cut it. You need to speak with or meet face to face with a mortgage broker or loan officer. You need to be prepared to submit the necessary documents required to obtain a home loan i.e. bank statements, check stubs, tax returns, etc. Once you have completed the loan application and submitted all of your necessary documents, then and only then affords you the opportunity to get PRE-APPROVED for a home loan. At which time you will be given the holy grail, a Pre-Approval Letter, which will include the type of loan you will get and the amount of money the bank will loan you. It's like having a suitcase full of money but not.
- REAL ESTATE CONSULTATION - Now that you have your pre-approval letter, it's time to meet with a real estate broker to discuss all of your wants, needs and desires you have for the home of your dreams. Reality sets in quickly.......you were hoping to be able to buy a home in the same area you're living now but realize home prices are too high. Your real estate broker will be able to assist you in finding homes within your budget and help you navigate the home buying process. I hope by this time your game face is in top form because you'll need it. There's an inventory shortage of homes and many of them that come on the market are receiving multiple offers. It may take you losing out on 2-3 homes before landing that knockout punch to beat the competition. That's why it's important for you to get started now. The early bird gets the house.
Here are two steps NOT to take..........
- DO NOT VIEW HOMES WITHOUT PRE-APPROVAL LETTER - Don't do it! I repeat, don't do it! Don't get me wrong, it's okay for you to view homes online until the cows come home. But DO NOT get in your car and drive all over looking at homes and wasting your gas. I know it's fun and exciting but you're not ready. What if you go to an open house one Saturday afternoon and fall in love with a house? You have no pre-approval letter, no suitcase full of money. By the time you contact a mortgage broker the following Monday, submit all of your necessary documents and get a pre-approval letter, the house you fell in love with will be sold to another buyer. Save yourself the heartache!
- DO NOT SCREW UP YOUR CREDIT - You have been pre-approved to purchase a home and life is good. Your car on the other hand is not so good. And you say to yourself, Self, I should go get that new car I've always wanted to go in the driveway of the house I have not purchased yet. BIG MISTAKE! From the time you get pre-approved until the time you have the keys in your hands to your new house, don't do anything that involves your credit. Not even financing a washer and dryer. You see, you went to several car lots and they all pulled your credit which lowered your credit score. On top of that, you now have a car payment which changed your debt to income ratios. Guess what? You no longer qualify for a home loan. APPROVAL DENIED! Don't let that happen to you.
If you have any questions or want more information I will be happy to assist you. I work with several mortgage brokers and loan officers if you need a referral. Buying a home in this market might not be easy but it's well worth whatever you have to endure to get those keys to your new home in your hands. Get your GAME FACE ready!