Buying your first home is a milestone event, and it will be exciting to start looking for houses that pique your interest. But while browsing real estate listings online or driving around neighbourhoods you’d like to live in are fun ways to get started, if you’re serious about being ready to buy, you should start getting prepared. Seek out a Chicago mortgage broker and find out if you prequalify for a home loan. Find a Realtor and think about what you’re really looking for in a house.
Taking these preparatory steps can save you a lot of waiting and hassle later. And by making sure you have everything you’ll need in order, you’ll be able to make a serious offer when you do find a house that you really love.
We’ve put together a helpful list of the most important things you’ll need to do in order to be prepared to buy your first home. Hopefully, this can help you avoid some of the more common, and sometimes costly, mistakes that a pre-approval first time home buyer can make.
The Home Buyer’s Preparation Guide
Compile your pay stubs and bank statements. – Gathering up the last three to six months’ worth of your pay stubs and your bank statements is a good start when you get ready to think about buying a home. Not only will you have a clearer picture of your typical earnings, but your mortgage broker will request financial records of this nature as well.
Get pre-approved for a mortgage. – This step is not always one that hopeful homebuyers undertake before they set their heart on a house they’d like to buy, but it can mean big points in your favour. When you get a first time home buyer pre-approval for your mortgage, you’ll have an accurate idea of what you can actually afford. Getting a pre-approval from mortgage brokers also gives you a little more time to settle on the terms and rates that will work best for your particular situation.
Create a wishlist and know your “must-haves” from your “wants.” – It’s important to put a lot of thought into what you’re looking for in your first home, and making a wishlist is encouraged. Thinking about all the possibilities is part of the fun when you’re house shopping. But there’s a big difference between the things you might “want” and the things you truly need; finding all of your “wants” is going to be either impossible or very expensive. Remember to be flexible during your search.
Hire a Realtor to help you locate, select and negotiate on your home. – It might be tempting to set out on your own, but for first time buyers, finding a Realtor to assist you in your search is invaluable. A good Realtor can listen to your needs and wants, present you with relevant options, give you insider advice on different homes and neighbourhoods, and then negotiate for you when you find something you like.
Don’t wait until the weekend to go house hunting. – Once your Realtor starts finding homes for you to look at, try to keep a flexible schedule that allows you to make appointments at the earliest convenience for the seller. You may be able to get in on the ground floor of a good deal by being readily available.
Be prepared to make an offer quickly if you find a home you like. – There is no time for hesitations in a seller’s market. By having all of your financials in order, you can make an offer as soon as you know you want to, with confidence.
Five Helpful Tips on Making Your Offer
- It’s helpful to assume that you won’t have the opportunity to negotiate much on your price, so it’s better to make your best offer upfront.
- Ask your Realtor for advice on providing the most concise contract possible, with a quick closing time and few contingencies.
- If you agree to pay the seller’s closing costs, it will work in your favour by putting more money into the seller’s pocket and without raising the purchase price of the house, which can jeopardize the appraisal.
- If possible, pay with cash. If you can’t do this, consider increasing the amount you’re willing to put into your down payment.
- When you’ve made an offer on a house that you love, be sure that you are always available for you Realtor to contact you for any questions or concerns.
We hope that you’ve found this list to be informative and helpful as you begin your search for your first home! If you’re ready to take the first steps and want to ensure that your mortgage program will best suit your needs, contact A and N Mortgage Services today at (773) 305-LOAN to speak to one of our professional and mortgage broker Chicago team members.