March 18, 2021Are You Ready to Buy a Home?
Now is an excellent time to buy real estate. There are near-record low-rates, builders are building again, and current home values are on the rise. Wherever you look, someone is raving about the hot market.
It seems like it’s the right time to buy. But is it the right time for YOU to buy?
Purchasing a house is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make. To help answer that question, we’ve put together several tips to help you on your home-buying journey.
While researching, you’ll often hear the terms “prequalified” and “preapproved.” They may seem to be the same, but they are as different as night and day when it comes to getting a mortgage.
Prequalified just means you gave your estimated living expenses and income to a lender. Based on these numbers, they give you a ballpark amount of what you are qualified for. This is not set in stone, nor does it mean you are in fact approved for that amount.
If you are only prequalified, sellers may assume you have not had your finances fully reviewed and approved by a lender. They might not take your offer as seriously as one with a preapproval letter.
When you’re preapproved, a lender will perform a complete review of your finances with you. They will be able to tell you exactly what amount you are approved for, help you understand what costs you need to pay in advance and provide other cost estimates, such as homeowner insurance and property taxes.
Plus, when you’re preapproved, sellers know you’re serious and able to make an offer on a home. This works in your favor.
Hire a Great Realtor.
With the help of the Internet, you could find your dream home with just a few clicks. Still, don’t underestimate the value of a great realtor.
Not only can a realtor help you find the perfect home, but they can also help you avoid any pitfalls you might overlook. They have a wealth of information about neighborhoods, homeowner associations, taxes, and more. Most importantly, they can help negotiate the sales contract.
A great realtor will help you understand the buying process, every step of the way. This is especially important for first-time buyers. Research or ask recent buyers you know for recommendations—realtors love referrals.
Research Your Mortgage Options.
When it comes to financing your new home, you need to choose a lender that will explain all your options to you, like PEFCU. Home loans can get confusing, and the wrong decision could cost you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan. PEFCU’s Home Loan experts will always look out for your best interest and hold your hand throughout the process, from preapproval to closing.
Generally, there are many home loan options available, such as fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, FHA, VA, etc. PEFCU keeps it simple—our conventional home loan rates are non-variable. We understand that being there for your questions is important since your personal financial goals are unique. We can help you figure out how your new home will fit into the big picture of your life.
Take Your Time.
Most importantly, take your time. When looking for new homes, don’t jump at the first house you like. Make sure it’s the right home for you and your family. Even if you don’t have kids yet, are you in a good school district for when that time comes? Does your home have room for a growing family? If you were to change jobs in a few years, is your home in an area that makes commuting easy?
Whether it’s a realtor, seller, or lender pressuring you to make a quick decision – ALWAYS take your time. Even if you lose out on a house, there are always more places you could call home. Quick, hasty decisions can cost you thousands of dollars–whether overlooking key features, not understanding various aspects of closing costs, not researching property taxes or insurance costs first, etc.
If you’re ready to take the first step to buy a new home, we’re here to help. Stop by any branch location or give us a call at 1-800-266-6673. We’re prepared to answer all your questions and walk you through the entire home-buying process.
Each individual’s financial situation is unique, and readers are encouraged to contact PEFCU when seeking financial advice on the products and services discussed. This article is for educational purposes only; It does not constitute legal advice. If such advice or a legal opinion is required, please consult with competent local counsel.