The first step in purchasing a home is to contact a mortgage lender.
Qualification can usualy be done over the phone in as little as 5 minutes. Full approval can be completed in as little as 24 hours. Then you'll have a written mortgage commitment and you then can act as a “cash buyer”.
In the conversation with the lender you will outline your price range and the lender can explain the differences in the different mortgage programs available to you. They will then give an estimate that includes the closing costs and down payments required for your selected price range.
Once a price range is settled upon, we will advise you of the available properties within your price range. At our first meeting we will go through the list of the qualifying properties. You'll be able to give us feedback about which properties you are most interested in and which you're not interested in. A key tip we like to give people who might be unfamiliar with the area is to drive around think about if the area is a good fit with your needs and desires.
Once the price and area are picked we work together to narrow down the list so that you can make your selection. Once you've picked we make an offer. Sometimes the offer goes through, other times we get a counter offer, and sometimes the deal just doesn't happen. But with this 3 step program and going through the steps together we've found that it works time and time again with great success.
If you are thinking of buying your first home, a useful excercise is to take out a pen and paper. Draw a line down the center of the paper and then calmly and logically, think of all possible advantages to buying a home. Write these on one side of the page. Next write down all the disadvantages in the other side of the page.
Save this list in a place but make sure not so safe that you'll never remember where you put it.
Now you might be thinking that this exervist sounds a little silly. Who needs to write down their reasons for buying a home? After all, home ownership is one of the central tenets of living the “American Dream.”
While in hot pursuit of this dream you are going to be excited about the future — researching neighborhoods, searching MLS sites on the internet, browsing home buyer’s magazines full of really nice homes that are just “minutes from the beach” with “fantastic views” and “cozy family rooms.”
Eventually you'll get to the point where you're actually going and looking at houses. Full of imagination and optimism for the future, you wander about each home envisioning a happy and contented life for you and your family. The first house may be “too big,” and another may be “too small,” but you are certain to find one that seems “just right.” So you make an offer and wait anxiously and excitedly for the counter-offer. Finally, you and the seller agree on terms and you have bought yourself a brand new home!
Congratulations! Break out the champagne and celebrate!
Eventually most people begin to worry about whether they made the right decision. Doubtful thoughts will intrude. Can you afford it? Is it the right time? Should you have waited? What if you lose your job? What if this happens? What if that happens? Anxiety and stress creep into all aspects of you live.
This is a normal response to buying a home and is called “Buyer’s Remorse.” You've just made the single biggest purchase you've ever made in your life and it can be downright scary. Logic deserts you. Worry takes over.
Remember your list?
Back when you were thinking semi-logically, you were fairly rational about home ownership. You catalogued the good and the bad, weighed them against each other, and decided that buying a home was the smart thing to do. Go find that list and read through it again... Go on I'll wait.
Now, do you feel better. I admit you probably won't be totally stress-free, but it should help.
Now I know that, in spite of my good intentions and my good advice, most of you probably won't take the time to make that list now.
But I would bet on buyer’s remorse hitting you at some point. And if you can remember reading this column, go get a piece of paper and draw a line down the center. Then…
You know the rest.