1) Obtain Loan Pre-approval
Obtaining a loan pre-approval is verified documentation of employment, credit report, assets, debts, W-2’s & tax returns required to obtain a loan. A pre-approval is contingent upon an signed purchase agreement and appraisal. (Note: Obtaining a Pre- Qualification is a non-verified , non-documented process and is NOT recommended when submitting an offer, and does NOT qualify you for a loan.)
2) Determine Short- and Long-Term Real Estate Goals
Where do you see yourself today, in one year and five years from now and how will today’s decisions impact your long-term goals? When determining location, price, and terms, establishing goals will help to avoid buyer remorse down the road.
3) What Lifestyle do you want to have in a potential community?
This is one of the most overlooked “Must Haves” when determining where to live. Close proximity to schools, health care facilities, your job and your favorite coffee shop should be considered when determining a location. I encourage buyers to begin their house hunting search visiting communities first. Once you determine where you want to live, then finding a home will be much easier.
4) Understand your Wants, Needs and Must Haves
It is important to create a list with columns so you can learn what you would answer the following: “I wish I had this” or “I would like to have this” or “I must have this” in your next house. Rarely will you find a home that has everything on your list. Many times, compromises may need to be made when making a home buying decision. This process will help you define which compromises can be made. Hint: To avoid Buyer Remorse, never compromise items on your “Must Have” list.
5) Enjoy the Process
Buying a home can be stressful. Understanding each step of the home buying process will help alleviate the anxiety and stress associated with buying a home. When you are financially prepared to buy a home, have a clear understanding of your short term and long term goals, determining where you want to live and the lifestyle you want to have in your new community before you looking at houses, and fully understand your wants, needs and must haves, will enhance your home buying experience. When you are prepared, it is amazing to see everything fall into place.