Posted by ACCU Staff ● 9/29/20 3:00 PM

Are You Ready To Buy?

It’s definitely no secret now is a great time to buy real estate. Between near-record low-rates, home-builders building again, and current home values on the rise, everywhere you look, someone is writing about the market.

But the real question isn’t if it’s a great time to buy. The question is whether YOU are ready to buy?

14 Are You Ready to Buy - Blog

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions and investments you will ever make. Are you ready? To help answer that question, we’ve put together several tips to help you on your journey.

Tip #1 :: Get Pre-Approved

When researching the home-buying process, you’ll often hear the terms Pre-Qualified and Pre-Approved. They may sound the same, but they are as different as night and day when it comes to getting a mortgage.

Pre-Qualified simply means you provided your estimated expenses and income to a lender. From there, they can provide a ball-park amount you’re qualified for based on your estimates. This is not set in stone, nor does it mean you are actually approved for that amount.

When you’re Pre-Approved, a lender will perform a complete review of your finances with you. They will be able to tell you exactly what amount you’re approved for and help you understand what expenses you’ll need to pay upfront and additional expense estimates, such as homeowner’s insurance and property taxes.

Plus, when you’re Pre-Approved, home-sellers know that you’re serious and capable of making an offer on a home. If you are simply Pre-Qualified, that tells sellers that you have not gone through the full process of having your finances reviewed and approved by a lender. As a result, the seller may not take your offer as seriously as one provided by someone with an actual pre-approval.

Tip #2 :: Hire a Great Realtor

With the help of the Internet, you may be able to find your dream house with just a few clicks. However, it’s important you do not underestimate the value of a great realtor.

Not only are they able to help you find the perfect home, but they can help you avoid any pitfalls or issues you might overlook. They’ll be a wealth of information about neighborhoods, homeowners associations, taxes, and more – in addition to helping with the obvious price negotiations.

Many realtors are simply trying to make quotas. Do your research and ask around - a great realtor will work with you – helping you to understand the process every step of the way. This is extremely important for first-time home-buyers.

Tip #3 :: Understand Your Mortgage Options

When it comes to financing your new home, you need to choose a lender that will really explain all your options to you. Home loans can quickly become confusing and the wrong decision could cost you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.

Plus, refinancing your home loan with another lender later on can be an expensive ordeal. So you want to make sure you do it correctly the first time.

You will find there are many home loan options available, such as Fixed Rate, Adjustable Rate, FHA, VA loans, etc. Choosing a lender that will be there to answer all your questions and walk you through the entire process is very important. What might be the right financial decision for one person may not be the best option for you. That’s why it’s important not only to review your finances, but also your plans for the future and how this home will fit into that picture.

Tip #4 :: Take Your Time

Most importantly, take your time. When looking for new homes, don’t jump at the first home you like. Really find the right home that works for you and your family. Even if you don’t have children yet, are you in a good school district for when that time comes? Does your home have room to accommodate children? If you changed jobs in a few years, is your home located in an area that makes commuting easy?

Whether it’s a realtor or seller pressuring you to make a quick decision – ALWAYS be sure to take your time. Even if you lose out on a home, there are always more. Quick, rushed decisions can cost you thousands of dollars – whether overlooking important features, not understanding different aspects of closing costs, not researching property taxes or insurance costs first, etc.

Getting Started

If you’re ready to take the first step towards buying a new home, we’re here to help. Stop by any branch location or give us a call at 800-343-6328. We’re ready to answer all your questions.

Each individual’s financial situation is unique and readers are encouraged to contact the Credit Union when seeking financial advice on the products and services discussed. This article is for educational purposes only; the authors assume no legal responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the contents.

Subscribe Here!