The home-searching process can be a lot of fun. You look at homes and imagine yourself living there with all your furniture set up, having family and friends over, and relaxing on a Friday evening in the living room with your favorite show on the TV. With all this excitement, your mind may (understandably) be in the clouds, however, there are important things to remember when searching for a home.
Below are five of our favorite tips:
Become Pre-Approved for a Loan
Lety Service, a sales associate with Ebby’s McKinney Office, recommends that potential buyers speak to a lender before looking for a home so they know exactly what price range to stay in. “It’s devastating to fall in love with a home only to have a lender tell you later that you can’t afford it,” she says. “If you are pre-approved first, you will find a home that you love and will be able to obtain financing within your price range. This will prevent the disappointment of comparing a home in your available price range to one that you aren’t qualified to purchase.”
During the process of buying a home and working with your lender, you will be asked to provide information and documentation. Have your W2s, pay stubs, bank statements and ID ready to give to your lender. After review of these documents, the lender may require additional information. You will also sign documents throughout the loan process. Getting your home inspection will be one of your first steps after submitting a purchase contract. Also, scheduling the following services to be placed in your name with a start date will need to be on your list: electricity, Internet, phone, cable, water, and gas. Organize what days you will devote to each task and the process will run smoother.
Keep Options Open
Lety advises future homeowners to start with an open mind because they might fall in love with something they didn’t think they would and to focus on the floor plan and location instead of cosmetic upgrades. “Looking at multiple houses in person, instead of online, will give you an idea of what you definitely like, don’t like, and maybe even some things you could settle for.” Keep in mind if you find a home with a perfect floor plan but can’t stand the carpet or countertops, you may be able to do a home-improvement loan and roll the costs into your mortgage.
Avoid New Lines of Credit
Debra Smith, a loan originator with Home Team Mortgage, advises that when you decide to start looking for a home you should avoid taking out new credit or making large purchases on credit. “This is especially important once you are in the middle of your loan process,” she says. “Any new account could affect your ability to qualify for your loan and cause you to lose the home that you may be a week away from moving into.”
Opt for a Bridge Loan
Are you a current homeowner looking to purchase a new home? If you want to use your current home equity to put down on your new home, the sale of your old home must close on or before the closing date of your new home. This makes everything time-sensitive and there is always a chance the financing of your buyer could fall through. Smith says a “bridge loan” may be the ideal solution for you. “You can use a bridge loan to use the equity in your current home even before you put it on the market,” she says. “So if you don’t want to sell before you move, or you don’t want to make your offer contingent on selling, our bridge loan may be just right for you.”
Considering purchasing a home? Home Team Mortgage Company, Ebby Halliday’s affiliated mortgage company, has a track record of building long-lasting relationships by providing exceptional service with competitive rates. With an office in each Ebby Halliday branch, Home Team Mortgage loan officers offer the convenience of one-stop shopping, coupled with expertise to ensure peace of mind for borrowers and agents alike.
For all your mortgage questions and needs, contact Home Team Mortgage Company.