Congratulations! You are on the First Step towards Buying a Home!
Within a few months you will find yourself waking up on the very first day in your new home. Visualize yourself looking around the room and realizing that just a few months ago this was still a dream, but now these walls, doors and windows all belong to you.
The process of getting to this point can sometimes be intimidating and confusing. As an experienced real estate agent, I am here to guide you through the entire process from selecting the right home, to closing at the right price. I will help you shop for the best rates, terms and can even suggest mortgage lenders to meet your needs.
GETTING STARTED ON BUYING A HOME
First you want to make sure that you are ready to purchase a home; before starting your search, ask yourself a few questions:
- Do I have a steady source of income?
- Have I been employed on a regular basis?
- Is my current income reliable?
- Do I have a good record of paying bills?
- Do I have a few outstanding long term debts, like car payments?
- Do I have money saved for a down payment?
- Do I have the ability to pay a mortgage every month, plus additional costs such as utilities and maintenance?
Once you have determined that you are ready to purchase a home give me a call.
Most people have to take out a loan to purchase a home, and you want to be prepared to make a purchase offer as soon as you find a home that you are interested in; therefore, you want to make sure that you are pre-approved for a loan before you look at homes. If you need help finding a lender, I can recommend trusted lenders for you to consider.
The lender will provide you with your credit report. If need be, he or she can recommend items that need to be cleaned up on your credit report. Remember, the higher your credit score, the better your interest rate will be on the loan. The three main credit reporting agencies are Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Each of the credit reporting agencies may have slightly different information. The lender will check all three agencies and will use your middle FICO score to determine your interest rate.
- Price Range
Determined your price range before you consider the areas you would like to live, so that you can look at homes only in your budget.
Details matter when you are looking for you home. If you have children, you will want to consider the school districts in the area. You will need to determine the number of bedrooms and bathrooms that you need. Consider if you would prefer a newer or older home. These are all things to keep in mind when looking for your new home; however, keep an open mind, because there is no perfect home. Be prepared to make some compromises. This could be any number of things…the square footage, one or two stories, the number of garage spaces, etc.
One thing about owning a house is that you have years to work on making it a home. There are numerous finishing touches that you can make to the interior as well as the exterior of your new home.
THE FOLLOWING ARE THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN LOOKING FOR YOUR NEW HOME:
- Establish a list of minimum requirements and a “wish list”. Minimum requirements are things that a house must have and your “wish list” covers things that you would like but are not essential.
- Do not be too indecisive.
- Be open-minded.
- Be patient.
- Communicate with your Realtor. Don’t just look at a home and not offer any feedback, because this makes the process of finding what you want more difficult and waste a lot of precious time.
- When you find the home that you want to buy, are you prepared to write an offer? Since I am familiar with the market value, I will help you arrive at a price that gives your offer the best chance of being accepted.
- Have a Backup Home.
THINGS THAT YOU MUST NOT DO WHEN PURCHASING A HOME
Once you have been pre-approved for a home loan and during the escrow process, there are a few things that you must not do until you have closed escrow.
1. DO NOT CHANGE JOBS
Changing jobs before or during the loan process can create a problem in qualifying you for a loan, particularly if the new job is in a different line of work or at a lower rate of pay. This can create time delays since the new job will need to be verified. Another important thing to keep in mind, the lender will call your employer on the day of funding to verify your employment verbally, so please keep your lender informed of your job situation to avoid costly delays in closing.
2. DO NOT MOVE MONEY AROUND AND DO NOT SWITCH BANKS
You will need to explain large or unusual deposits and or withdrawals after you have been pre-approved. The best thing to do once you are pre-approved is to leave your money where it is until your escrow has closed. Moving money to a new bank or even a new account can cause a lot of confusion with the verification process.
3. DO NOT PAY OFF ANY BILLS
Your lender will advise you if it is necessary for you to pay off any bills to help you qualify for a loan. Follow their guidelines, and if you have any questions regarding your loan approval, be sure to discuss your concerns with your lender.
4. DO NOT MAKE ANY MAJOR PURCHASES UNTIL YOU CLOSE ESCROW.
Buying a new car, purchasing furniture, or making any major purchases on credit can have a significant impact on your ability to buy a home. Even applying for credit or purchasing an item and deferring the payments can have a great impact on your FICO score. The best advice is…do not even complete any application to buy anything until you close escrow.
5. DO NOT STOP MAKING ANY OF YOUR MONTHLY PAYMENTS.
Keep paying all of you bills on time. This includes your current home mortgage or rent, as well as utilities. If you must do any of the things listed above, please contact your loan officer first, and keep him or her informed of any changes so that they can advise you of your options.
It is understandable that these requests may be a slight inconvenience for you; however, they will help to avoid any last minute complications, and will increase your chances for a successful loan closure.
Communication is a key factor at all times.
"It was my extreme pleasure having the opportunity to work with Ruby Williams of Tarbell Realtors on a recent transaction. I am primarily a listing broker who specializes in the marketing of bank owned foreclosure properties, and have been in the business for nearly 25 years. During that time, I've worked with literally 100's of Realtors on various transactions. I can honestly say that, of all of those, Ruby placed in the Top 5%. She's got all the qualities that make for a great Realtor. She was extremely easy to work with, kind hearted and you can tell, she CARES about the people she is working with. Not only that, she's very knowledgeable, which is an important quality when it comes to trusting someone to handle your most important investment. And, her honesty and integrity is beyond reproach. I was particularly worried about this transaction, as it was located many miles away from my office, and was a high-end home. Ruby was helpful in every instance, and made this deal a smooth and very pleasant transaction for everyone involved. She was on top of every detail, and pulled all the necessary strings to make the deal happen. Not only that, she wrote an offer that got her buyer's the house they wanted, amongst a very fierce, competitive demand for this particular home. That being said, I can only wish that all the Realtor's I worked with were like Ruby. Unfortunately, I know they are not! It's my hope that Ruby and I have many more opportunities to work together in the future. She is a joy to work with, and I would strongly recommend her to anyone in need of real estate services of any kind. She is amongst the tops in the business, and I wish her much continued success. "- Kirk Munchhof – Broker Associate, Century 21 High Country, Lake Arrowhead, CA
"Ruby is simply the best! She made purchasing my first home a wonderful experience. She is very knowledgeable, sincere and is always available when you need her. Ruby Demonstrates interest in your needs and ensures that all actions are to your advantage. I most definitely recommend her to everyone looking to purchase a home."- Michelle Blanco
"Ruby thanks so much for finding a home that met my wish list. I am very happy with my purchase! "- R. Falls-Jefferson