February 21, 2012 by Johnny Brooks | Edit
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Every situation has a beginning and an end, a start and a finish. Buying a home is no different. The purchase of a home will be by far the biggest ticket item a family will buy in their lifetime. Owning a home is a long-term financial commitment that requires time and patience on the part of the prospective home buyer. Whether you are a first-timer or repeat buyer the process can be exhausting and overwhelming, but with such a large investment, buyers have to take it one step at a time and follow the time proven blueprint that will ensure a successful cost saving experience.
Pre Approval: If done correctly, this step will take time and is almost as important as the home itself. Most lenders have fairly equal rates, it’s the fees they charge that differentiate themselves from each other. The most cost-effective approach is to interview multiple banks or mortgage brokers, making them aware you will be comparison shopping. Request a “Good Faith Estimate” from each lender and allow no credit checks during this preliminary stage. This method allows buyers to then compare each estimate and be assured they have the very best loan with minimum upfront fees. The only credit check will be done by the lender that you decide to do business with.
Choose Your Agent Wisely:All realtors are not created equally. Using an agent that has successfully worked with friends or a family member is one avenue. An experienced realtor can be an advisor and a valuable source of information that is worth their weight in gold. if the friend or family referral is not possible, then meeting an experienced realtor at weekend open houses is a good start. The chosen agent should keep you updated and available at all times for questions or to view new homes on the market. If it appears this realtor takes numerous vacations or not available more times than not, then switching agents in midstream is acceptable. Remember to choose your agent wisely.
Your Dream Home: It’s time to get busy finding that near perfect home. You have your realtor, lender and pre approval letter and have probably already seen a few properties that meet your requirements. Most homes for sale have virtual tours on the Internet and can easily be accessed through the numerous real estate sites. Location is still the most important criteria. The condition can be improved over time, but location can’t be changed. Some home prices are negotiable, unless there are competing offers, then you have to assume a full price offer is in order.