Spring into action - Tips on Homebuying
Published: March 2018
Author: Bank of England Mortgage Staff
As the seasons change from winter to spring, hopeful buyers are looking to purchase a home. We have assembled some advice to help you spring into action with the following home buying tips in order to help those of you that fall in the buyer's category.
Talk to a Mortgage Lender FIRST
Although some experts suggest that potential buyers talk to a real estate agent first, that is a bit counter-productive. Real estate agents will be happy to help you find a home just as soon as you have secured a mortgage pre-qualification letter from a mortgage lender. When you have a pre-qualification letter from a lender it allows you to make a serious offer on a home. In fact, many sellers will ask for some type of proof that you have either the cash or financing before signing an offer.
Your lender is tasked with finding the best mortgage to fit your needs. While it is true that your credit history and income play a huge part in getting approved for a mortgage, you also need to share with your lender your future plans. For example, if you are looking for a starter home with plans to buy a bigger home later on, you may be interested in a low down payment home with an ARM mortgage.
Providing all of your financial information to the lender will make it easier for the loan officer to help you choose the right mortgage that fits your needs.
Pick the Right Real Estate Agent
It is wise to talk to multiple sources and get referrals for a quality real estate agent. Since you will likely be dealing with this agent for at least a month or more, it is wise to pick someone that is not only good at their job but someone that you like as well. If possible, pick someone that specializes in the area of town that you hope to live in. Some markets are big enough that agents will choose to work in select areas. These people can thoroughly answer your questions about potential homes for sale as well as the general area.
Do a Drive-by
Many would-be homeowners only visit their potential new home right after work or on a Sunday afternoon. This results in a quick decision and often inaccurate perception about the house and neighborhood. However, there is a better way to investigate a home.
You should take some time to visit the home early in the morning, late at night and at various times on the weekend. Take note of everything you see and look for the following:
• children playing in the yard
• people working on projects outside
• the number of cars parked on the street
• the level of noise
• are people congregating at a particular home or place
Do Some Homework on the Area
The location of the home is often just as important as the home itself. When beginning your research on the neighborhood, a good place to start is to look at crime in the area. Certain areas seem to be more vulnerable to burglaries and other kinds of crime.
Another thing to research is nearby amenities. Where is the nearest grocery store? Is there a nearby park for your kids to play at? Is there a factory nearby that may cause a lot of noise? This may sound too analytical – but it could change your perception of the home.
Use these tips and get a head start on looking for your future home! Be on the lookout for part II of more tips next month.