Written By: Aubree DeVisser
I’m sure you have heard from one person or another who is on the hunt for a home that it hasn’t exactly been easy. So, why not do everything you can to set yourself up for a smooth and successful home-buying process?
Here is one thing you can do to gain a competitive advantage, accelerate the process, and know how much you can afford.
GET PRE -APPROVED
Going to an agent and choosing a lender is your first step. Receiving that pre-approval letter really should be the key you want to have in your pocket for when that dream home becomes available.
What exactly is a preapproval? It’s when you gather information such as your job status, income, credit score, etc. and the lender uses that information to give you a number that represents the amount you can afford to borrow for a home. (You can do this all from your phone if you prefer it that way, email me to get the link to the app!)
So, why does this help you? As I stated before, there are three main reasons.
1.) You gain a competitive advantage.
Who doesn’t want that? Especially now when bidding wars and multiple offers are something most buyers will have to deal with, you want to have every advantage you can get. A preapproval letter from your lender says your serious. It says I’m all in. I want this and I’m ready to prove that. Not to mention it shows the sellers that you actually have the funds ready to go if the offer was accepted and that’s obviously important and reassuring to them.
2.) Move forward, faster
Think about it this way. You write an offer in a multiple offer situation and the sellers need to close ASAP. If they see that you’re preapproved and have done all that work ahead of time, that’s time saved and you’re ahead of anyone else who hasn’t done that yet. Then, as soon as that offer is accepted you’re ready to move on to all the other details.
3.) Dream home without the dream loan
This one is really important for you and whomever you’re buying a home with. You need to get preapproved so you know what you can afford. Let me tell you a quick story. A couple goes to look at a home. Falls in LOVE with it. Wants to put in an offer. (Most people won’t even accept offers without a preapproval letter) Let’s just say they accept it. They go to a lender. Their loan amount is $20,000 less than the home price. UH OH. NOW, WHAT.
Their dreams are shattered. They can’t buy the home. Everyone is frustrated. The home-buying process is probably ruined for them. They realize their dream home is way out of budget right now and that’s DEVASTATING.
So, if you take anything away from this reason, take this:
Know what you can afford. Don’t break your own heart. Make it easier on yourself, and everyone else, and get preapproved before actively going out to look at homes.Then you can work on a budget and accurately see and know what you can borrow and what you can afford. (Need help planning and saving and want some guidance? We can help!)
I hope this was helpful and if you’re ready to start looking, or are already looking, that you consider these three reasons to put you ahead in that home-buying process!
Are you a first time home buyer and want to be part of a community of other first-timers with some helpful tips and tricks? Check this group out!
Have questions about buying your first home? Contact Aubree DeVisser here!
To Rent or To Buy? Millennials wrestle with this decision more than any past generation, especially as student loans and stagnant wages have delayed the home-buying process substantially. In this episode, we tackle this question and many others with the help of three Real Estate Mavens: Leslie Ferguson, Heather Regan, and Tiffany McIntosh.
- What differences have you seen between Millennials looking for housing vs. Gen X or Baby Boomers looking for housing when they were in their 20s-30s? How has the housing market changed over time?
- How does your credit score play into the home buying or apartment renting process?
- Where should a Millennial start when it comes to purchasing a home? What are a few key first steps and pitfalls to avoid?
- How do taxes factor in to owning a home?
- What are hidden costs/fees that a first-time home buyer might not know about?
- What questions should someone ask a real estate agent to make sure they’ll be a good fit?
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Hey guys! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Brendin DeVisser, a real estate agent in West Michigan! I’m 25 and I’m the founder of The DeVisser Group with Five Star Lakeshore which consists of other real estate agents and my marketer.
My goal here is to quickly and simply, help you through the process of buying your first home! I know it can sound intimidating and stressful, however, if you surround yourself with professionals you can trust, that stress and intimidation will disappear!
I was 19 when I first invested in real estate. Crazy right? Was I scared? Nah. I’m a big tough man and I can handle all this stressful money stuff. I’m kidding. Of course, I was scared!I was putting a lot of money into something that would eventually be mine, but right now felt like it was burning a hole in my wallet. However, with the right guidance from experts I trusted, I was able to purchase a duplex, rent it out and start paying it off.
You’re buying your first home, or you’re thinking about it. Well, now is the time to do it! The real estate market is still hot but it won’t be forever. Interest rates will rise and so will the prices of homes.
So, where do you start?
You contact someone like us. A real estate team you can trust to guide you and prepare you for what is ahead. If they’re anything like us, they will be there to answer any questions you have, anytime. You want to prevent as many conflicts from arising as possible and that is the agent’s job.
They can refer you to a bank or lender they rely on to check your credit score to see if you’re capable of getting a loan and eventually approval to buy a home.
What’s a credit score?
Ahh, the dreaded credit score. If you’re afraid of it, it’s for one of three reasons.
- You don’t know what it is, therefore you’re afraid of the unknown.
- You don’t have one.
- You have a bad one.
First of all, what is a credit score?
Simply put, a credit score is something you receive and earn by making a payment on time and for a period of time. (Examples: Phone, car, rent etc.)
Secondly, how do I improve my credit score?
- Increase your points by paying in full and on time
- 850 is a perfect score
- Earning a perfect score gives you the best possible interest rate for purchasing your home
- Accomplishing this proves to a lender/bank you’re responsible
- If you have zero credit it will be very difficult in most instances to get an approved loan for a home
- This process is similar to a car loan if you’ve had one, but we are generally talking a bigger loan, which means more requirements.
- Consistent payments for at least 6 months is what lenders are looking for
Keeping this up and being responsible with your money and payments will offer an easier time buying a home later on.
Do you have to be Pre-Approved to buy a home?
Yes, unless you’re paying in cash.
The preapproval letter tells us you are ready to buy a home
To Rent or to Buy?
This is the question I get all the time.
If you plan on staying where you are for a short period of time, renting could be your best option. However, if you plan on settling down in the area for several years, investing in a home, in my opinion, is the best way to go. Then you can add equity (or real property value) instead of paying rent for something you don’t (and won’t) own.
It’s different for everyone, so make sure you’re talking to a professional you trust to figure out what’s best for you and your situation!
Some Challenges I Ran Into Buying My First Home
As I mentioned before, I was 19 when I first bought my duplex. I was taught to use cash for everything so, if you were paying attention, you know what that means. My credit score was NOT perfect, which made it difficult to take out a loan and buy my first home. Learn from my uneducated 19-year-old self and start working on that credit score! Find people you trust and search for a worthy investment!
These simple steps are crucial as a first time home buyer! I hope this was helpful and if you have any questions feel free to contact us. You can find us on almost every social media platform to learn more about real estate.
Article Contributed By: Brendin DeVisser