Home Buying 101
The first thing you need to do is get pre-approved. This is different from Pre-qualifying, as it is a full loan approval instead of simply an opinion letter. It is best that you take this step before looking at homes. Finding out what you qualify for will help you look in the right price range. You would be disappointed if you found a home you liked and then found you couldn't qualify for it. By the same token you may be able to look at more expensive homes than you originally thought possible. Getting pre-approved will help you in the following ways:
Determine How Much Home You Can Afford
Princeton Capital can determine your purchasing power, which gives you a guideline as to how much home you can afford – before you start looking. We will show you a variety of different types of financing (Fixed Rate, Adjustable, Interest Only, and 100% Financing), and will determine how much you qualify for with each of those types. Based on your desired payment level and type of financing with which you feel comfortable, we can determine your purchasing power.
Know What Your Down Payment Will Be and Provide Financing Options
You need to choose a home based on how much money you have available. Based on the funds you have available, we will design a loan that will work for your individual situation.
Know What Your Monthly Payment Will Be
Before picking a price range, you should make sure that you can handle your total monthly payment: Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance (Mortgage Insurance and HOA dues, if necessary).
Turns You Into a Cash Buyer
In today's market, buyers are not the only parties concerned about financing. Sellers are equally concerned. In cases where there are multiple offers for homes, the buyers must put themselves in the best possible position to have their offers accepted. Getting pre-approved also puts the buyer into a better negotiating position, as the seller knows the buyer is ready, willing, and able to buy, and the financing is not in question. Those buyers who are not pre-approved will have less chance of obtaining an accepted offer on the house they wish to buy, and are therefore at a disadvantage.
Congratulations! You have taken the first step towards owning your own home by choosing a professional real estate agent. You have made a very wise decision. In using the services of a Realtor to guide you through the challenging home buying process, you can be assured that you will receive the best service with much less hassle and anxiety. Your real estate professional will:
- Help you determine your wants and needs in order to find the perfect match between the home that best meets your needs and your budget.
- Keep your personal tastes and lifestyle in mind when selecting properties to visit.
- Find the properties for sale in your preferred area through the multiple listing service and their own resources. Newspaper ads and "For Sale" signs are not always a true reflection of all properties on the market. Your real estate agent always knows what's available at any given time, including properties which will be in the market soon.
- Allow you to make your own decision. A professional agent works for you and respects your opinion. He or she will not try to force you into a decision you don't feel comfortable with.
- Protect your rights. Real estate laws have become increasingly complicated and your Realtor is there to assist and protect you in every way.
- Negotiate for you. Once you've found the home you want to buy, your Realtor will write up your offer and present it to the seller. This gives you the best opportunity to have your contract accepted.
While the property inspector will do a thorough, professional inspection of your new home (discuss this with your real estate agent), it is a good idea for you to check a few things yourself when considering a home purchase. Some general considerations include:
Number of Entrances
You should always check and inspect these items, room by room, when considering your purchase.
- Try all lights and switches
Turn all faucets on and off
Flush the toilets
Turn on furnace & air conditioner
Test all stove burners
Turn the oven on bake & broil
Run the dishwasher
Open and close all windows and doors
All other operating systems
You need to make some notes on these interior features. Record important details and note anything that needs changing, repair, or special maintenance. You'll avoid costly repairs by making this extra effort.
In addition, make sure the inspector investigates any signs of structural or water damage (such as wall cracks, moisture, etc.). When you actually buy a home, you should do a walk-through several days before closing to determine if all the conditions in your sales contract have been met. However, the time to inspect and note any defects you want corrected by the seller is during the contract inspection period or prior to signing the contract. Any repair or replacement items should be noted in the contract with any questions or concerns you might have.
Arnie von Massenhausen
Phone: 408-445-7149 | Fax: 408-335-1190