Buying a home can be a complex and confusing experience for anyone. If you’re a first-time home buyer it can be very scary. But we’ve got some insider tips to help you buy your dream home.
Pre-Approval is Key
Before you even begin looking at homes, visit a lender and get a Pre-Approval letter. This is different from a Pre-Qualification, which is a quick process based on information you provide but is not verified by the lender. The Pre-Approval lets the seller know that a lender has verified your credit, income, and other important information that determines whether you can afford the home. If there are multiple offers for a home, pre-approved buyers have an advantage over those who are not. Baltimore County Employees Federal Credit Union is happy to help you get pre-approved for a mortgage. Check out todays rates, and when you’re ready, contact a loan counselor to get started on your Pre-Approval.
Find the Right Agent to Help
When shopping for a home in a hot market, you’ll need a great agent to represent you. Ask family and friends for recommendations. You’ll want someone who specializes in homes in the area you want to buy in. Their inside knowledge can save you valuable time and put you on the fast track to success.
Know What You’re Looking For
If you know exactly what you’re looking for you’ll be prepared to decide quickly whether the house fits your needs. In a competitive market, this is crucial since there may be multiple buyers making offers on the home.
Be Faster Than Everyone Else
Using sites like Trulia, Realtor.com and Zillow are useful when doing preliminary research, but your local agent can notify you via email or phone as soon as a new home is on the market— often before they are posted to online sites. Once you find a home that you love, put an offer in right away. Know how high you’re willing to go in in a multiple offer situation— work this out with your agent in advance. For example, an escalation clause can automatically put your bid at $1,000 higher than any other bids—but make sure you know when to stop.
Be a Good Buyer
Show the seller that you want to make life easier for them by expediting the process as much as possible. Schedule a home inspection right away. If the seller is also buying a home, you can offer to rent the house back to them once you own it to give them time to get into their new home. A good agent will call the listing agent and find out what’s most important to the seller so you can put together a great offer.
Whether you’re shopping for your first home, your next home, or are looking to refinance your existing home, we have a loan for that! Our experienced mortgage counselors are happy to discuss the options available so you can choose the one that best fits your needs. Contact a mortgage counselor today or call 410-828-4730.