Updated on July 28, 2021
Whether you’re looking to buy your first home or you’re a seasoned homebuyer, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared to navigate your homebuying journey. Below are a few tips on what you should consider as you begin your search and what you can expect during the process.
1. Determine if “Now” is the Right Time to Buy
When mortgage rates are low, it may seem like a smart time to buy, but take time to consider if you’re truly ready. Ask yourself questions like:
- Is your income stable?
- Do you have sufficient savings?
- Have you had to use your savings recently?
Having a stable income and sufficient savings is crucial when buying a home. You don’t want to purchase a home only to lose your job shortly after or be faced with a large expense that you can’t handle.
In addition to having savings for a down payment, you should have separate funds available in an emergency fund for unexpected expenses. If you’ve had to tap into your savings recently, this may indicate that buying a home may not be the best decision at the moment. Be realistic when reviewing your finances so you don’t create a financial burden for yourself.
2. Do Your Due Diligence
Once you’ve decided on a home, ask the sellers to provide disclosures to document any instances of water damage, structural issues, or other problems. Read these items thoroughly so you’re aware of what issues may come along with buying a particular home.
A home inspection can uncover items the sellers may not have known about or other issues, like water damage, that may require costly repairs. Discuss the types of home inspections available with your realtor and which would benefit you. If you’re not able to attend the home inspection, read the inspector’s notes carefully and don’t be afraid to ask questions about items that may be red flags for larger issues. It may be helpful to request non-traditional inspections, like a chimney or structural inspection, but be aware that it may be an added expense.
3. Be Flexible with Your Timeline
Typically, the homebuying process entails strict deadlines for submitting documents and completing tasks. Review the expected timelines carefully and see if you’ll need to ask for any extensions.
In a busy market, keep in mind that some things like home inspections and appraisals may not be able to be completed as quickly as you’d like. Establish open communication with your realtor and lender so that you can be realistic when setting your expectations.
4. Get (and Stay) Organized
A pending home purchase may bring additional stress to not only your finances, but your life. To feel more at ease, start by organizing all your required documents, like identification, bank statements, and preapprovals, and make sure they’re all available electronically. In most cases, your documents will be sent or completed electronically, so this will make the process less stressful. Create a specific and secure folder on your computer to keep these items safely in one place.
You’ll want to do the same with any documents you receive from your agent, like seller’s disclosures or inspection notes. Having these handy allows you to reference them quickly if any issues or questions arise.
Choosing the Right Home Loan for You
Our resources, such as our homebuying budget calculator, are designed to help you decide which financing option may be right for you. We also offer a wide array of mortgage products, personalized service, and expertise to guide you in your decision.
If you’re ready to find a home loan that’s right for your needs and budget, call us or browse our mortgage rates today.