Protect Your Money and Your Credit – If you need to secure financing to purchase property, it is smart to talk with at least three lenders. It’s always good to shop your loan, but you don’t want them all pulling your credit, so just ask the first one you talk with for a copy of your credit report and then give that to the other lenders. It’s okay to let them know you are talking to more than one lender to find the best fit for you. You’ll want to make sure they understand what your priorities are, whether they’re saving money, lower payments, lower interest rates, a specific purchase price, etc. You will also want to ask them what their fees are for the loan. It’s important you like your lender, as they become one of your best friends for 30-60 days. The same goes for your Realtor, so be picky about who you hire to represent you.
When you choose your lender, as them if they are usually conservative or generous in their estimates. Conservative lenders might give you less money to work with at the beginning of the process, but you will usually end up with cash back at the closing. Know how you want to work your purchase and plan accordingly. If you have any questions about the process, ask our team. We are happy to help.
Build Your Green File – A green file contains all your important financial documents. These are among the items that will be requested by the lender. It is best to have all these documents to your lender prior to submitting an offer on a property. The typical green file should contain:
✔ Financial statements
✔ Bank accounts
✔ Credit Cards
✔ Auto Loans
✔ Recent Pay Stubs
✔ Tax returns for two years
✔ Copies of leases for investment properties
✔ 401K statements, life insurance, stocks, bonds, and mutual account information
When preparing to purchase a property, it is not a good time to make sudden career changes or large purchases. You want to approach your property purchase from a position of financial stability.
Make sure you carefully select an agent to work with. It’s important to make sure your agent is a Realtor, as they are committed to higher standards. The right agent will work hard to find exactly what you are looking for. Make sure you are comfortable with an agent and feel like you can express your needs and concerns. Personalities do matter and you should feel like they are a good fit for you.
When searching for your home prioritize the things you are looking for in a new home. You might not find everything on your list, but you could get close to having all of your ‘must haves’. Some things to think about are price, location, size, amenities (i.e. a pool or extra-large kitchen) and design (one floor or two, traditional or modern, etc.). Know what things are the most important to you during your search.
Pay attention to details. As you look at houses, keep in mind radically different designs, commutes, lot sizes, tax costs, interior dimensions, schools, amenities and exterior styles. Make notes after you visit each house so you can remember which house has which features and what your thoughts were. If you view a few houses in a day, they can all blend together, so having your notes can help you correctly evaluate each option at the end of the day.
When you’ve found your new home, get picky. If you have your priority list and find the “almost perfect” house, get ready to pick it apart. There’s nothing worse than moving into a house, only to find out there are a ton of problems and you could have had the seller take care of them before you moved in. This is where our team steps in. We will fight for you to get everything taken care of, but you will need to know what you want.
Whether you're buying or selling, we'd love to help make dealing in real estate one of your favorite endeavors!