- Get pre-qualified
If you’re serious about buying a home, the first step is to determine how much you can afford. This involves having your financial profile assessed. You’ll be asked about your income, debt, and assets.It’s a fairly simple process you can do online or over the phone.
Getting pre-qualified shows you the amount for which you may qualify for a mortgage.
- Hire a local agent or a broker
Find someone who has a great track record. You will want to check if they havegood reviews from both buyers and sellers. There’s nothing like a word-of-mouth recommendation!
At this very early stage, an agent will also be able to help you go through the next stage of the process, which is pre-approval.
- Get pre-approved
The pre-approval process is a more in-depth version of the pre-qualification stage. It involves getting your financials thoroughly checked, including your credit report, and crucially, your ability to buy a home.
Here, you’ll need to fill up a mortgage application and surrender your financial records to the lender. Your agent can help you identify, if not gather, the required documents to complete the process.
Once you’ve been pre-approved, you’ll know two things:
- The specific amount forwhich you qualify for a mortgage
- A fair idea on the interest rate you’ll be charged on the loan
- Decide where you’d like to live
Now that you’ve been pre-approved, it’s time to think about the kind of community you’d like to belong to. Scour the Internet and read up on areas and specific neighborhoods you see yourself living in. Create a checklist of what you deem important, including amenities, commutes, and cost of living.
- Return to your agent
Meet with your agent and discuss the kind of home you’re looking for based on your pre-approval and your neighborhood checklist.
Your broker may probe you about your current needs and future plans to make sure you get the kind of home you can grow with. Are you a new couple looking to have kids in the near future? Or are you a retiree who may need outside assistance down the road?
Your agent will look through available listings and arrange viewings of homes that fit your bill.
- Have the property inspected
Once you decide to make an offer on a home, have it inspected within days of the seller accepting your offer. A professional home inspector will make sure there are no issues related to structural integrity, plumbing, cracks, heating, etc. If there are potential problems, your agent will talk to the sellerto renegotiate the original offer or figure out how to settle repairs.
- Have the home appraised
Your lender will contact a third-party appraiser to make sure the home you intend to buy is fairly priced.
- Finalize your loan
Work with your lender to ensure the terms of your mortgage match your priorities. Do you want your monthly payments fixed? What if you plan to move again in a few years; what’s the best product to answer that need?
As you go through these 8 steps, your agent will be there to complete the paperwork, negotiate on your behalf, and ensure that no detail is overlookedas you move towards theclose of the sale.
If you’re looking for homes in Westchester County, New York, contact us today.