Are you FINALLY ready to be a homeowner but not sure exactly where to start. We created this short-and-sweet First Time Homebuyer Roadmap to Getting Started graphic especially for you.
1) How Much Can You Buy
When you decide to buy a home, millions of questions surge through your mind, but the first and most important question when you’re just starting out is how much you can buy. Unless you have enough cash in the bank to buy the home, and can prove it, you’re like many first-time homebuyers who need a mortgage.
That means contacting a licensed Loan Officer, and reviewing and discussing your current financial situation such as employment, income, credit scores, and savings to name a few.
The Loan Officer is the one who crunches the numbers and tells you what your home buying budget truly is based on your financial position. Once you’re pre-approved, they provide you with a pre-approval letter that includes the maximum amount you can purchase a home for.
2) The Proof is in The Puddin!
Many homebuyers mistakenly run to the internet to start searching for homes without realizing that they’ve started backwards. It is best practice and customary for a Realtor to require a Buyer to provide proof of what kind of Buyer they are: a) a cash buyer, or b) a buyer using financing. Either way, Buyers must provide evidence that they are serious and committed to buying something.
For cash Buyers who are not using any type of financing, a bank statement or signed letter on a bank letterhead stating the Buyer has sufficient funds, and how much, to cover the entire cost of the purchase.
For Buyers using financing, a current pre-approval letter from a credible lending institution showing the maximum amount the Buyer can borrow to purchase a home.
3) Get a Realtor!
Seriously, what reason could there be for trying to do it alone, or trying to work with multiple realtors (which is not really allowed, by the way)?
Do your research. Call a few and ask questions as your sort-of “interview process” to see who makes you feel like they are trust-worthy and going to be attentive to your needs for the whole ride.
The Florida Realtor you choose, and you can only choose one in the end, must be someone you feel you can rely on for the next 45-60 days. They should be knowledgable on the entire process from start-to-finish. They should be readily available to answer your questions. And last but not least, they should demonstrate that they have the capability to educate and guide you throughout the entire process.
Don’t have a Realtor yet? Our Florida Realtors are standing by to help. Call or text us at 386-626-8004, or feel free to send us a direct message on Facebook to schedule your free consultation.
4) The House Hunting Begins
Even though your Realtor will be keeping an eye on the market for properties that match your specific criteria, when you make it a daily priority to get involved, things move a lot faster.
Your Realtor may be out showing homes that day, or a new home may be newly listed in the middle of the night way before the Realtor gets the notification. And in some cases, which are very common, a home that fits your criteria will show up on the internet but not in the local MLS because of who listed it and how they went about it. Meaning, your Realtor won’t see it unless you tell them!
Don’t rely on the Realtor’s efforts only if you want to speed things up and potentially find the house of your dreams before another Buyer. Do your own due diligence on sites like Realtor.com.
You can also drive around the neighborhoods that you love to see if anything new has popped up that hasn’t been brought to your Realtor’s attention. Think of it as a team effort. The more you help your Realtor find your dream home, the faster you can both make you a homeowner!
To download The First-Time Homebuyer Roadmap to Getting Started graphic, click on the image below.
If you would like a slightly modified version on a PDF, click here to download the full version on The First-Time Homebuyer’s Roadmap to Getting Started.