Home Buyer Series 1 – Getting Started With Your Home Search
Begin Your Lending Process
Financing your home should be your very first step. If you need a loan to purchase a home, you will need to contact a lender to get pre-approved. Buying a home is one of the largest purchases you will ever make. So, knowing the maximum amount you can spend including closing costs will help you be prepared to put an offer on a home.
Having a pre-approval letter (versus getting pre-qualification) from a lender can give you the upper hand against competing buyers. Some sellers even require a letter from a lender showing pre-approval also referred to as proof of funds.
Lock or Float Your Interest Rates?:
Locking your interest rate ensures that your rate will not change, even if mortgage rates spike higher over the days and weeks before you close on your purchase. At the same time, this means you won’t be able to take advantage of a lower mortgage rate, assuming they drop even lower as your loan closing date approaches. Conversely, if you choose to float your rate, you’re essentially telling the lender that you don’t like where rates are at that time, and you want to wait for a better rate. Or it could just be that your loan approval is still a month away, and you don’t want to lock prematurely and have to pay to extend your lock if it takes longer than anticipated to close. Your lender can give you an idea of the expected fluctuations in the market.
***Important: If you need to obtain a loan to buy a house, your credit must stay the same during the whole loan process. Do not make any changes to your job or buy anything that might affect your credit. Buying furniture, or any purchases made on credit before you close on the home or changing jobs (even to a different department within your company) may invalidate your loan.
Most conventional loans take around 30 days to close but some loans can take up to 60 days. It is important to know the expected time it will take to underwrite and close on your loan.
You will be set up with an MLS cart which will list available (active) homes matching your search criteria. You can sort homes by price or recent activity, delete homes, save favorites and look at available photos. Your cart is available any time and you can receive these automated emails as soon as a new listing or price reduction is added or once per week (even on a particular day). Your cart will be automatically updated. Please look for Innovia emails containing your link.
I will also take a look at your cart and make notes that you can see by clicking View/Edit Commments.
You can take a look at the overhead (satellite view) of homes by using the map and zooming in or using the drop-down menu that says “automatic” at the top and selecting “bird’s eye view”. This will let you see if there are any undesirable features surrounding the property.
The Realtor commissions are usually paid by the seller and the commission split is indicated on the MLS. If you have entered into an agreement with a Realtor as a buyer, you may be responsible for their commission if a buyer’s agent commission is not offered on a particular home.
Our communications will be documented through email and text. If we speak over the phone, I will reiterate our conversation in an email for your response. You will have Shared Access to your property files using Google Drive. Included in the files are: the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) Information Sheet, Overhead views of the property, Street View (if available), Property Lines, EPS (Environmental Protection Sites) and Flood Planes.
Interested in finding out more about a particular home? You will get information quickly by copying and emailing me the associated MLS (Multiple Listing Service) number. While looking at a desirable home on the internet, an MLS number (ex. 557864 or A557864A) can be found by using the keys Ctrl (PC) or (Mac) and the F key simultaneously, then typing “MLS” and hitting enter. The letters MLS will now be highlighted on the page for you to find it.
Other forms of communication including texting is fine and important communications will also be confirmed in an email.
Most forms that need to be signed can be done online and emails with the links to sign documents will come from Zipforms (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I will also give you access to your Google Drive folder containing signed documents. You will receive a link once the first document is in place.
Need A Tour Of Homes?
Most homes use a showing service to schedule available showing times. Some homes have restrictions on showing times because the home is inhabited. Setting up a tour of multiple homes with a reasonable route can take time. A day’s notice is usually needed for those homes that are currently occupied.