Aimee Siers' Blog
There’s many different myths about buying a home that may have been presented to you as fact. All of these rumors could have you believing that being a home owner is a dream. Here, we’ll debunk some of the most common misconceptions about home buying and give you the tools to solve any issues that you may come across in the process of securing a home loan.
If You Don’t Have 20% To Put Down On A Home, You Can’t Buy
Many conventional loans do require a 20% down payment on a home. There’s also many different loans available that may suit your needs. From Federal Housing Administration loans to Veteran’s programs to down payment assistance programs, there’s many different things that can be done to help you buy a home. Keep in mind that any time you put less than 20% down, you’ll need to provide additional mortgage insurance, also known as PMI or private mortgage insurance.
If Your Credit Score Is Terrible You’re Out Of Luck
If you want really good mortgage rates, having great credit is very important. If your credit score is low, your rates tend to be much higher. A really low credit score could keep you from getting a loan completely. FHA loans allow you to still qualify for a loan with a credit score as low as 580.
You Need To Make Bank To Get Money From The Bank
Monthly annual income is just one of the factors that’s considered when it comes to getting a loan to purchase a home. Your debts matter just as much if not more. People with significant credit card debt and other loans may be denied a home loan even if they have a substantial income.
You’re In The Clear If You’re Pre-Qualified
Pre-qualification is much different than pre-approval. Pre-qualification involves giving your lender basic information about your finances in order to estimate how much of a loan you can get. This will give you a ballpark figure of about how much you’ll be able to borrow. Of course, this is very helpful in the home search process, but you’re not done. To get pre-approved, you’ll need a complete mortgage application in order to have your complete financial background check and credit rating.
If You’ve Met One Real Estate Agent, You’ve Met Them All
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Your relationship with your real estate agent is going to be quite close. You’ll need to share somewhat personal information in order to secure a house you’ll love. Agents are involved in one of the biggest decisions that you’ll ever make. Each agent has his or her specialties and knows different neighborhoods better than others. Definitely go with a real estate agent that you feel comfortable with and knows their stuff.
Closing Costs Aren’t Your Responsibility
Sometimes, sellers do pay the closing costs in the sale of a home. It all depends upon how the negotiations go with the home. You’ll need to be prepared for upfront costs in buying a home. These include a credit check, attorney fees and property insurance. As a buyer, you’ll be paying anywhere between 2 and 5 percent of the purchase price of the home.
It’s important to be prepared and to stay informed in order to make sound financial decisions throughout the process of purchasing a home. Everything will be that much more exciting when you have all of the pertinent information that you’ll need.
In certain states, attorneys are almost required in order for you to purchase a home. In many states, real estate matters can be handled completely by the real estate agent themselves along with a title company. An attorney’s presence is not required in these states. This is when hiring a real estate agent is most important.
Buying A Home With An Agent
You can either get your own buyer’s agent to represent you, or you can use the seller’s agent to help you seal the deal. It’s a good idea to have your own agent to represent you, but you have the right to use either option. A buyer’s agent has a duty to keep the buyer’s best interests in mind and to keep all of the buyer’s information private and confidential.
It’s important to find your own buyer’s agent before you even start the house hunting process. Your agent can be a valuable resource in helping you to choose the right home for you and your family. If you decide to use the seller’s agent, their loyalty will be divided between the sellers and you. This is a fine choice as it will be balanced. However, you may want an agent who is completely dedicated to you so that your needs and interests are adequately represented.
If you have a question as to whether an agent is actually representing you as a buyer, the seller, or both, it should be clearly stated in writing for you. This way there will be no questioning as to whom is being represented by who.
Buyer’s Agent Duties
Having a buyer’s agent is a great resource for you. An agent will be able to help you search for properties. The agent can help you to see properties in person if you are unable to make it to an open house. Buyer’s agents also can provide market analysis to help discover a home’s value. They’ll also strategize with you on negotiating. Other things that the buyer’s agent can assist you with are:
- Presenting your offer
- The home inspection
- The application for a mortgage
- The completion of the purchase and sales agreement
- Attend the final walkthrough at the closing
Finding a buyer’s agent is an important part of buying a home. The agent can help you throughout the entire process from finding a home to closing on a home. Your agent can even give you recommendations on everyone who may need to be involved on the road to home ownership including attorneys, inspectors and contractors. It’s important to have someone around who knows all about real estate and can understand every step of the home buying process.
As a homebuyer, entering the real estate market with insights into what it takes to find the perfect house is essential.
Becoming an expert homebuyer, however, may seem impossible at times. Lucky for you, we're here to help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to make your homeownership dreams come true.
What does it take to become an expert homebuyer? Here are three tips to help you do just that.
1. Look at Real Estate Market Trends
The housing market ebbs and flows. Therefore, a seller's market today may transform into a buyer's market tomorrow.
Ultimately, the real estate market fluctuates constantly, and you'll want to learn as much as possible about the housing sector to ensure you can map out your homebuying journey accordingly.
In a buyer's market, there are usually more home sellers than buyers. This means homebuyers may be better equipped than ever before to secure a top-notch house at a budget-friendly price.
On the other hand, a seller's market features an abundance of homebuyers and a shortage of sellers. For homebuyers who operate in a seller's market, they may be forced to submit competitive offers on homes quickly, or risk missing out on a dream residence to a rival.
When you study the housing market, don't forget to check out the prices of residences that recently sold. By doing so, you can gain a better understanding of how much you'll likely need to pay to acquire a first-rate house based on the current state of the housing market.
2. Learn How a Mortgage Works
What differentiates a fixed-rate mortgage from an adjustable-rate option? An expert homebuyer will know the ins and outs of assorted mortgage options and select one that corresponds to his or her finances.
To learn about mortgages and how they work, you'll want to meet with credit unions and banks. These lenders can describe the different types of mortgages and the pros and cons associated with them.
Also, an expert homebuyer will get pre-approved for a mortgage. With a mortgage in hand, this homebuyer will be able to stick to a price range as he or she searches for the ideal home.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
Let's face it – no homebuyer can afford to make mistakes. Fortunately, you can work with a real estate agent to receive expert guidance as you navigate the homebuying journey.
A real estate agent boasts the skills and know-how needed to streamline the homebuying process. He or she may have many years of housing market experience and is happy to teach you about the opportunities and challenges associated with buying a house.
Furthermore, a real estate agent will help you accelerate the homebuying cycle. He or she can set up home showings, negotiate with home sellers on your behalf and much more. That way, you can focus on what's important – finding a terrific house at an affordable price.
Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can become an expert homebuyer.
Deciphering credit scoresMost major lenders assign your credit score based on the information provided by three national credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. These companies report your credit history to FICO, who give you a score from 300 to 850 (850 being the best your score can get). When applying for a mortgage (or attempting to be pre-approved for a home loan), the lender you choose will weight several aspects to determine if they will lend money to you and under what terms they will lend you the money. Among these are your employment status, current salary, your savings and assets, and your credit score. Lenders use this data to attempt to determine how likely you are to pay off your debt. To be considered a "safe" person to lend money to it will require a combination of things, including good credit. What is good credit? Credit scores are based on five components:
- 35%: your payment history
- 30%: your debt amount
- 15%: length of your credit history
- 10%: types of credit you have used
- 10%: recent credit inquiries (such as taking out new loans or opening new credit cards)
What does this mean for taking out mortgages?A higher credit score will get you a lower interest rate. By the time you pay off your mortgage, just a hundred points on your credit score could save you thousands on your mortgage, and that's not including the money you might save by getting lower interest rates on other loans as well. If you would like to buy a home within the next few years, take this time to focus on building your credit score:
- If you have high balances, do your best to lower them
- If you have a tendency to miss payments, set recurring reminders in your phone to make sure you pay on time
- If you don't have diverse credit, it could be a good time to take out a loan or open your first credit card