If you are buying a home for the first time there are many things you need to know and be aware of, from the process followed when making an offer to purchase, to applying for finance, closing the deal, and supplying the right documents at every turn.
It should go without saying that you shouldn’t go it alone when buying a new home, especially if it’s your first home. Even if you have worked through a reputable real estate agent, when it comes to the closing, you’ll be doing yourself a favor if you solicit the help of a trusted legal firm that has real estate experience in your part of the US. For instance, if you live in Georgia, you should consider consulting with a good Peachtree City attorney with lots of real estate experience.
But before you even get to the stage of approaching a Peachtree City real estate attorney here are ten top tips to help ensure that the deal is successful and stress-free.
- Check your credit report. If there is anything negative on your credit report this could count against you when you apply for finance to buy your dream home. It’s best to be aware if this is the case so you can take steps to correct the problem.
- Understand the relevance of the debt-to-income ratio. This important ratio is calculated by dividing regular monthly payments (or debts) by gross monthly income. Typically, lenders prefer it to be less than 43 percent, but percentages do vary depending on loan types.
- Pre-qualify for a mortgage. By applying for a mortgage quote before you start looking for a home you will know how much money you can afford to spend and how much you will have to pay back every month.
- Apply for several mortgage quotes Lenders don’t all offer the same credit or credit terms, so apply to at least three lenders including banks and credit unions, and don’t only look online. But…
- Be aware of how credit applications can affect your rating. There’s something a little crazy about this, but you do need to know that the application process can affect your credit rating negatively. Every time you apply for a quote it is registered on your name and this can be damaging, even if you have zero credit risk. The best way to minimize this is to get quotes within a 14-day time period simply because it won’t look like you’re trying to get multiple loans at one time.
- Don’t accept the maximum offered by a lender unless you can afford to repay it. New home buyers don’t always realize how many additional bills come with owning a property. These include taxes, insurance, utilities, and all the home maintenance costs that inevitably show up at the least convenient time. It’s vital to budget for all of these on top of the mortgage payments that will be levied.
- Assess additional expenses that new home buyers must pay. These can throw out any budget, so make sure you know what you’re going to have to pay for before the property can be transferred into your name. These include down payments, inspection costs, and closing costs.
- Consider potential resale value. When you’re buying property, especially if it is your first home, the last thing on your mind is likely to be the resale value of the house. But the reality is most home buyers only stay in their homes for about five years before moving on. You can’t predict accurately what you’re likely to get in five years time, but you can talk to real estate agents and homeowners in the area to get a feel of how prices have changed over the past few years. Just don’t rely on only one person’s opinion.
- Be decisive. If you really like a home and it meets all your needs including size, location, and price, make a bid. Indecisiveness can cost you the home of your dreams!
- Understand the paperwork. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau introduced new regulations in 2015. Designed to simplify the home buying process, the regulations minimize the number of documents that must be completed. There is now only one form required for new loan estimates and only two forms (rather than four) required for closings. There are though specified time frames that come into play. A good real estate attorney will advise.
If you live in Georgia and are looking for a trusted Peachtree City firm of attorneys that specializes in real estate to handle your closing, come to Slepian, Schwartz & Landgaard. Our professional team will ensure the closing is done on schedule, and that the process runs smoothly. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.