If you have been following the news, 2017 is projected to be a hot year for home sales! For those of you that are selling your home, this is great news.
To those of you who are thinking about purchasing, now is the time to start the home buying journey as interest rates are still low.
A good rule of thumb is to create a checklist (or look online for one) that will help you identify things that you want in the home. For example, are there cracks in the wall or is the ceiling stained? These could be warning signs of bigger problems with the home and having a checklist keeps you on track.
Now, where to start? It’s a good idea to check your credit score as some lenders require a minimum score. AnnualCreditReport.com or CreditKarma.com are two websites that offer you that information. If your credit score won’t allow you to get a home loan now, you can identify entries on the credit report that will assist you to improve your score. Make sure all of your bills are paid on time; late payments drive down your score. Pay down your credit balances; maxed-out credit accounts can also hurt your score. Do not open new lines of credit or close old lines of credit as that activity can negatively affect your score.
Once you have established that your score meets the requirements, schedule an appointment with a lender to get preapproved. The preapproval process provides you with a price range to begin house hunting. The lender will request you to bring information such as paystubs and W-2’s and other personal information. After you have determined how much you can afford, think about the area that you want to live. Is it important to you to live in a certain school district or certain area of town? Take a drive through neighborhoods and do some research on line to get a feel of what is available in your price range. Once you have identified homes that appeal to you, schedule an appointment to walk through. Be sure to take that checklist you created with you.
Finally, you’ve found a house of your dreams-time to make an offer! Do some research or have your realtor (if you used one) to provide information to you on sales of comparable homes in the area. Another consideration is to assess how long the home was on the market. These two factors will assist in determining a price you want to offer to the seller for the home. Are there contingencies that you want to include in the price? Will you ask the seller to pay for closing costs or to cover the cost of a repair?
Once the seller has accepted your offer, you will want to schedule an inspection. This is the most critical part of the home buying process which could provide you information on why you should or should not purchase the home. If the all clear is given on an inspection, you are ready to submit a mortgage application. Review all of the costs associated; closing costs, title insurance, property taxes etc. prior to signing the contract to ensure you can fit it into your monthly budget.
Your lender will schedule a closing date, it is a good idea to visit the home again prior to the closing to ensure that things have not changed since you wrote the offer.
When the closing process has been completed, you will be handed the keys to your new home!
To receive more information about a mortgage or start the preapproval process with CASE Credit Union, contact Dan Lynch at 517.393.7710 ext. 1064. We look forward to assisting you in your mortgage journey.