Build your savings.
You may already know how much monthly payment you can support (experts recommend no more than 1/3 your monthly income), but the buying process will also include upfront costs, such as a down payment and closing costs.
Weigh your down payment options.
Do you qualify for down payment assistance programs? Will you be able to get an FHA loan and pay 3.5 percent down? Do you have a relative that would like to make a down payment gift? Many financial experts recommend a down payment of 20 percent, so be sure to explore your options!
Check and monitor your credit score.
Your credit report says a lot about you. Lenders use it to evaluate your risk potential and to inform themselves on how responsible of a borrower you are. They use this report and subsequent score to figure your interest rate. The more stellar your report, the better your score and thus lower your rate. Be sure to check your report for accuracy, and report any errors to the credit reporting agencies.
It’s time to talk to us! This is the official letter from the Sinor Mengali Group that says they will be willing to lend you money. Many sellers look for buyers who are preapproved.
Decide how much home you can afford.
You may get preapproved for $300,000, but maybe a home around $275,000 better fits you financial plans. You need to decide how much home you can fit into your budget. I might be a good idea to set a max budget just in case the home of your dreams comes in a little over your planned budget!
Decide what aspects of a new home are most important to you.
You have a budget, now develop a list of what you need and want. This can include anything from “must have 3 bedrooms” to “hardwoods” or “granite”. You can find a handy checklist here.
Pick your desired neighborhood.
Location strongly affects prices. A 3,000 square foot home in Elk Grove costs a fraction of one in San Francisco. Decide what neighborhoods and areas are the best fit for you. This will help narrow your home search.
Hire a Real Estate Agent.
An agent can help you navigate the entire process from searching, putting in offers, to where to hire an inspector or general contractors.
Start your search.
The MLS is a wonderful place to begin your search. Eighty-four percent of buyers now start their search online, so you’ll be in good company. Not all listings appear online so be sure to as your local Realtor about all listings in the area you desire!
We know the home buying process can seem intimidating at first. The Sinor Mengali Group is here when you need us – no matter if the question is big or small. Consider us your complete home loan resource.