Getting Into Your own Home – Five Easy Steps to Owning a Home
Owning a home is a dream for many ………… a very achievable dream in most cases. Often all that is needed to turn the dream into reality is bit of a road map and a little bit of a push. So, since you are reading here, consider the following a nudge with getting started instructions. To begin with, you need to………….
Believe it can Happen
Homeownership is achievable for most people once they begin to believe it can happen. For many the process is relatively easy, and for some there is a bit of work involved. But either way, the first step to owning a home is a belief that you can do it.
The fact that you can likely, with a little effort, become a homeowner, does not necessarily mean the American dream is right for you. If you like to pick up and move often, if you are on a career path that may require you to relocate, or if your employment and/or relationship status are unstable, it might make more sense to rent.
Owning a home is not right for everyone, but, if you feel like the time is right to explore homeownership, then believe. Allow yourself to create a vision built around a home you can call yours, and then build the economic benefits of homeownership into your financial plan.
Select an Agent
When you are buying a home, the expense of a real estate agent is covered by the property seller. The commission is spelled out in the agreement the seller signs with the agent listing the property for sale. So, you are free to pick your own agent, one that is a good fit for you, without having to concern yourself with cost.
A good agent will help you with a multitude of different things involved in purchasing a home, so you can go on with your everyday responsibilities while shopping for and buying a home. Think of your agent like a quarterback, organizing all the moving parts that need to be managed for you to find, evaluate, finance and ultimately purchase the house that is right for you.
When selecting an agent, think about what you should expect from an agent. It’s important to find an agent that feels right for you and your family, because you will be spending a good deal of time together. But, don’t overlook the professional side. As much as you want an agent whose company you enjoy, it is equally important that you find an agent with a good combination of experience, knowledge and skill, because you will be looking to your agent for input and guidance throughout the process.
Pick a Loan Officer
The loan officer will help you get a mortgage. Along the way, he/she will handle the details that go along with you getting the best loan possible, and not all loan officers are created equal in that department. If you don’t already know a good loan officer, your real estate agent can help you find one. When it comes to loan officers, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Trust is paramount. Trust your gut and avoid loan officers who don’t give you a good feeling.
- Say “no” to lenders you find online. There is real value in having a loan officer you can actually meet with, one with a local office. It is amazing how quickly online lenders can disappear when there is a problem.
- Get it in writing. A good loan officer will make sure you receive, in writing, an outline of the terms of your loan along with an explanations of all loan
- The best way to insure you receive the loan you bargained for, is to be sure each step along the way is properly documented.
Have a Plan
Your agent will help you with this one. Much of your plan will be determined by your needs and your preferences, but the first item on your plan building agenda should be to establish a budget.
Your loan officer will tell you how much loan you can get. Your real estate agent will walk you through how much different homes will cost. But your budget should be based on your family’s financial goals and circumstances, as well as your comfort level. You want to own your home without feeling like your home owns you. (Note: When comparing monthly rental costs with monthly mortgage costs, don’t forget to factor in the tax benefits attached to mortgage payments).