By Rob Smith
Buying your first home can be intimidating in the beginning — face it, it’s a big commitment. But lots of people have done it and so can you. You just need to know how to get started. These critical first steps will help you to navigate through the process with confidence.
Step 1: Get Your Team Together
Buying a home may be the biggest investment you ever make — so it pays to call in the experts.
You’ll need a Realtor and a loan officer. A Realtor will represent you and your interests during the home-buying process. So find
someone you can relate to and who sincerely wants to help you. (Like me!) The next step is finding a loan officer.
Step 2: Get Prequalified
There are a few steps in buying a home that are extremely important, and one of those is that your first
stop — before going out to look at properties — is the lending office. You can even talk to a loan officer over the phone. Once
you’ve found a lender you like and trust, the next step is to talk numbers. The loan officer will ask you a series of questions about
your income and your expenses to determine how much house you can afford. In most cases the amount of money that you are
currently spending on rent will be enough to pay a mortgage.
Step 3: Clean Up Your Credit Report
Part of getting prequalified will include a check of your credit score. If your score comes in
low, you will not qualify for the best interest rates. The loan officer will advise you on what you can do to improve your score.
Step 4: Gather All Your Financial Documents In some cases, you might be able to prequalify for a loan without all of these documents,
but it’s best to have them handy. Typically, what you will ultimately need to provide the loan officer is your most recent two
years of tax returns, two months of bank statements, and three months of pay stubs. If these items are not immediately available,
now is a good time to start gathering them.
Step 5: Start Your Search
You’re in the right place with Smith and Associates Realty! With all the listings at your fingertips, you
can take the dollar amount the loan officer gave you and begin to check out all the properties that fall at or beneath that price. You
might be surprised at all you have to pick from.
Key throughout the process is a good Realtor. That’s why Step 1 is so important! Smith and Associates Realty has the experience
and the know-how to guide any first time homebuyer through what may be unfamiliar territory. Give us a call today and good
luck in owning your new home!
Smith and Associates Realty
Rob Smith Owner/Agent