Thinking about buying a home?
Here are some things to consider about your timeline.
I often talk to people who are interested in purchasing a home and feel like they are “starting early” when, in reality, they may be starting the process right on time. I want to take this opportunity to go over a few aspects of the home buying process that may come as a surprise and provide some suggestions that may make this process go more smoothly.
Check your credit reports
Take the time to pull your credit report from all the major companies (you can do this each year for free). Check for inaccuracies & errors that you can call and have repaired. Check to see if there are any payments that you may need to make or bring current that might improve your score. A better credit score means a better rate. You may find your credit report to be exactly what you expected, no surprises at all. If that is the case this process will go pretty quickly. You may find, however, that there are a couple of errors or mistakes on your report that need to be addressed. Making the time to contact these companies and to go through the effort to follow up will be very beneficial in the long run, but it may take a month or more to see the results.
Speak with your Lender
Your Lender can tell you what you’re qualified for, which is very important when you are deciding what homes to look at during your search. Your Lender can also estimate what your loan amount will look like in monthly payments. Just because you are qualified to take out a large home loan, you may not want to make the large monthly payments that go with it. If your credit score needs some work your Lender will also be a wealth of knowledge on how to do this and will have people you can contact to help you with credit repair if needed.
If you are new to the area you may have a Lender from your previous area. You can use a Lender from another area or city but often times it will make closing go more smoothly if you choose a lender from the county where you will be making the purchase. These Lenders are used to working with the local title companies and following their processes and timelines.
Establishing a relationship with a Lender won’t take very long. They will have some information that they will need to get from you and that process can take a couple of days to a week. If they provide you with suggestions to improve your credit score in order to make your rate more appealing then that process may take a little more time - as much as a month or more - but it will all be worth it in the end.
Don’t know a Lender? Call your Realtor - they work with Lenders on a daily basis and will know someone you can contact.
Speak with your Realtor
Your Realtor is happy to coach and educate you during the home buying process but once you have all of these things in order - THIS is when the Realtor really gets to work. This is the exciting time everyone looks forward to! They will pull property listings to your specifications, take you to see homes, and when you find that perfect home you will be READY to make your offer with confidence. Best case scenario, when you make an offer you will hear back immediately, but sometimes it can take a few days or more depending on when the Listing Agent presents offers to the Seller. There may be negotiations necessary to achieve an acceptable contract for all parties. Once your offer is accepted the home goes through different stages of the contract period, which usually lasts about 45 days barring any negotiated changes or repairs.
Home ownership is an excellent investment. You build equity and wealth, gain tax deductions, automatically contribute to your savings each time you pay your mortgage and it is a better financial choice than renting over time. Don’t let your timeline sneak up on you or the process bog you down. I would love to be a resource for you on your home buying journey. Call me if you have any questions - I am here to help!
Michelle Peacock '94 | Realtor®
O: 979-703-1979 | C: 979-220-8033 | F: 979-703-1980
3091 University Dr. East Ste. 230 | Bryan, TX 77802
Your source for Bryan/College Station Real Estate