Looking into buying a home? Here are 5 essential tips for making the process as smooth as possible.
Get Your Finances In Order
Start by getting a full picture of your credit. Obtain copies of your credit score. Make sure the facts are correct and fix any problems that you find. Next, find a suitable lender and get pre-approved for a loan. This will place you in a better position to make a serious offer when you find the right house.
Find A House You Can Afford
There's a general rule of thumb when it comes to buying a home: aim for a home that costs about two-and-a-half times your annual salary. There are a number of tools and calculators online that can help you understand how your income, debt and expenses affect what you can afford. Don't forget that there are also considerations beyond the price of the home, including property taxes, insurance and energy costs.
It is a good idea to have an understanding of what your lender thinks you can afford and will depend largely upon two factors:
- Gross income determines the "front-end ratio", also known as the mortgage-to-income ratio. The front-end ratio measures how much of your income is dedicated to mortgage payments. This is typically no more than 28& for most loans and 31% for FHA Loans.
- "Back-end ratio" is how much of your income is dedicated to other debt obligations, credit-card payments, non-mortgage payments.
Look for a trusted advisor to assist you with this step. If you do not have one, True Realty can share a list of trusted providers for you to choose from.
Hire A Professional
While the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings and resources, many aspects of the buying process require a level of expertise you can't pick up from surfing the web. That's why you're better off using a professional agent than going it alone. Choose a buyer agent who will have your interests at heart and can help you with the strategies during a bidding process.
True Realty offers a free consultation with no obligation. If choose to not work with us, it is not our style or business practice to hassle you. Schedule your free consultation by calling (720) 305-0757 or reach out to owner Chris Tucker via email: Chris@TrueRealtyCo.com.
Do Your Homework
Before making a bid, do some research to determine the state of the market at large. Is it more favorable for sellers or buyers? Next, look at sales trends of similar homes in the area / neighborhood. Look at prices for the last few months, Come up with an asking price that's competitive, but also realistic.
Think Long Term
Obviously, you shouldn't buy unless you're sure that you will be staying put for at least a few years. Beyond that, you should buy in a neighborhood with good schools. Whether you have children or not, this will have an impact on your new home's resale value down the line. When it comes to the house itself, you should hire your own home inspector, who can point out potential problems that could require costly repairs in the future.