Making a move can seem overwhelming as there are numerous aspects to the process. Below are the top 3 home buying to-do’s. Following these steps before buying a home will help you prepare for a potential move. It is, what I believe the best way to start the process.
1. Speak With a Lender
It is never too soon to speak with a lender and learn about the mortgage process. A lender can help a prospective buyer understand what they can purchase. They can help estimate the amount of money needed for a down payment, closing costs, insurance, and taxes. Additionally, the lender can provide guidance on what the prospective buyer can do to strengthen their borrowing capability. For example, a lender may suggest waiting for one more year of tax returns or identity a mistake on a credit report that can be fixed.
It is important to establish a good working relationship with a lender you respect. In this environment, it is critical for a buyer to work with someone who is responsive and thorough in how they explain all the intricacies involved with borrowing.
Once the prospective buyer has submitted their financial documentation for review, the lender will be able to determine the amount the buyer is qualified to borrow. The lender will then issue a pre-qualification letter reflecting that amount and terms.
A pre-qualification letter is required to submit an offer; a home seller will only consider an offer with a pre-qualification letter from a reputable lender verifying this person has the ability to purchase the home.
2. Identify Neighborhoods
It is smart for a prospective home buyer to thoughtfully examine what neighborhoods work best for them; they should take into account cost of living, their daily commute, proximity to friends and family, transportation, grocery stores and restaurants. In addition, it is important for a buyer to have a sense of confidence that this is the right place to come home to everyday.
If you are thinking of moving to a new neighborhood, spend some time there to observe the community; experience the day-to-day energy and maybe even test out the commute during the time you usually go to work, as well as drop by the nearest grocery store. You can find information on what it’s like to live in the Georgetown neighborhood by visiting our About Georgetown page. Additionally, visiting sites like www.georgetowndc.com and their corresponding blog is also a great way to begin researching new neighborhoods.
3. Identity the Financial Impact of Moving From Your Current Home
A few things to think about are ….
What are the term of your lease? How many days notice are you obligated to provide before leaving? What is the cost to break the lease if necessary? If you are selling your home, roughly how much can you realistically sell your home for and in what length of time? Considering these before making the decision to move could impact your timeline.
The home buying process takes time. The items listed above are what I feel are the top 3 home buying to-do’s, and what should be done before buying a home. They will help chart a clear path towards buying a new home.