First Time Buyer Information
There are a number of things that first-time homebuyers should do to prepare for home ownership. The first step is to arrange a mortgage pre-approval. This will tell you if you are financially ready to purchase a home, and if so, what price you can afford. If you are not yet in a position to buy, your mortgage professional will let you know what steps need to be taken to get there. A pre-approval will also lock or guarantee your interest rate for up to 120 days. This protects you against increases if rates should go up. If rates go down you will still receive the lowest rate in effect throughout the 120 day period – so you can’t lose.
ASSEMBLING A TEAM
Very early in the process you should begin to assemble a team of professionals to guide you along the way:
You will need a reliable realtor to help you find the ideal home to suit your needs. The realtor will help you write up an Offer to Purchase and negotiate on your behalf to get the best possible price. They will work with you to ensure that all purchase conditions are fulfilled on time.
You will also need a qualified mortgage professional to help arrange your pre-approval, find the best possible mortgage and rate, and work with you during the approval process to ensure that all lender conditions are fulfilled.
A knowledgeable home inspector is essential to ensure that there are no issues or defects that could impair the value or safety of your home. They will prepare a detailed report and inform you of any changes or repairs that need to be made.
A lawyer protects your legal interests such as ensuring that the property you are buying does not have liens against it. The lawyer will review all contracts before you sign them and register your name on title and on the mortgage. It is best to hire a lawyer that is well versed in real estate law.
If you don’t have contacts in these businesses, ask people you know for referrals. Arrange an appointment with each candidate and ask questions until you are satisfied that they are knowledgeable about what they do and will work hard to help you achieve your goals.