Your Dream Home Becomes Your Reality
A solid strategy on what to accomplish and when, can ensure a smooth transaction when buying your next home. Are you dreaming of buying a home. Do you want to buy your first home? Maybe you are just wanting to buy a larger or smaller home, than the one you now own. Columbia Real Estate in Columbia, Missouri can help you and your family. We are a very friendly real estate company and we set and achieve much higher standards in the services we provide our customers.
Here in Columbia Missouri, many families are fantasizing about a new home. Thoughts and dreams of beautiful yards, gourmet kitchens and spacious, walk-in closets, can occupy their minds on a daily basis.
For many families, renting an apartment, duplex or house, has become a normal part of life. Their busy schedules of work, school and activities, leaves little time to actually work toward buying a new home. When you add a very busy lifestyle, to securing a home loan and a buying process that can seem complicated and scary, you can understand why so many families still rent, instead of own.
Many of our clients are simply looking for a different home than the one they own now. Many customers want a new or newer one. While other customers are looking for a larger or smaller home. Other customers desire a different neighborhood or part of our city.
At Columbia Real Estate, we make home buying easy and enjoyable. Our down to earth, knowledgeable and friendly agents, work with each of our home buying clients on a one on one basis. By truly getting to know you, we can fully understand all of your concerns and needs, when buying a new home.
Some clients, who dream of buying a home, need more assistance in getting approved for a loan. We work closely with these customers, to ensure they understand how they can get approved and at the absolute best possible rates. We work closely with numerous lenders to ensure we help get you the financing you need and with payments and terms, you can afford.
Other clients find they need assistance on how much home they can afford and what is available, in and around Columbia Missouri, within their price range. Understanding what features in a home you can get within your price range and what you might have to give up, is an important part of the process. Our personal touch in getting to know you and your family, helps us, in helping you, find your family's next great home. After all, getting you the most of what you want, for your money, is really what we are about. We study and understand the features and benefits of the homes for sale in Columbia Missouri. We then help you in understanding the differences of what's available. There is much to do when buying a home to ensure you are not surprised by unknown circumstances. With Columbia Real Estate, our knowledge helps give you strength and power when shopping for and buying a new home.
Whether you are dreaming of buying your first home or your last, this article is designed to help you understand the process and prepare for it. We hope this helpful timeline shows you how eager we are to assist you, no matter what your needs or budget. We love living and working in Mid Missouri. We would love to help you, find and buy your next home.
Although, no strategy can be 100% perfect, all of the time with every customer, this guide is designed to help you avoid some of the biggest problems and mistakes.
One Year Prior to Purchase
1) We recommend you check and know your credit score. If you and your significant other are buying together, know both of your credit scores. It is important to know who has the high score, who has the low score and what the average score is between the two of you. There are many places you can get a copy of your credit report. All three of the credit bureaus; Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are required to each, give you one free credit report per year. A recent study found that one in every four Americans, identified errors on their credit report. Five percent more had errors that could lead to higher rates on loans. Be proactive on enhancing your credit score. Each person and together should do things that will increase your ratings. Our agents and lenders can help you make this process easy.
2) Once you determine what your credit ratings are, it is time to decide how much house you can afford. Lenders are happy to lend you as much as your debt load allows. But will that amount make you house poor? Ask yourself, how much house do I really want to afford? While you are maximizing your credit ratings, be sure to strategize on payments that can be paid down or off. Eliminating payments can help you afford more house. However, be sure to discuss with your lender if eliminating a debt will impact your credit rating for the better or worst.
3) When working on your financial plan for your new dream home, dom't forget to build a plan for saving for your down payment. You will learn that the majority of conventional, home mortgage loans require a 20% down payment. It is always great to put down 20% or more if you can afford it. Paying a large down payment means you save on loan costs and interest. Usually higher down payments also help you get lower interest rates. Be sure to ask if you qualify for an FHA loan. FHA will offer mortgage loans with only a 3.5% down payment. These loans do require mortgage insurance premiums, which drive up your monthly payments, however, they are a great solution for many new home buyers
Nine Months Prior to Purchase
1) This is one of the most fun parts of buying a new home. It is time to list all of the features and benefits you want in your new home. You also will want to make sure you prioritize them. Just some of the items that typically make the list are; location to work or school, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, size of garage, size of yard, size of kitchen, size of porch or balcony, just to name a few. It is important that you work out as many decisions as you can on what features you want in your new home. This can save valuable time and frustration when shopping.
2) This is a great time to dig deep into your research. Drive through potential neighborhoods. Take a visit through the school your kids might be attending. Certainly, look at everything available online. Local websites can be helpful in determining what side of town you want to live and what neighborhoods you like best.
3) This is also a good time to visit some open houses. Many people don't realize, you don't have to have a real estate agent to visit open houses. An agent on duty will certainly want to get your contact information to use as a possible lead. It's ok to say you are not in the market yet and you are just trying to get some ideas on what is available and at what costs. Be sure to take a notebook and write down important features or designs you like about different houses. Add these to your list of priorities as you see fit. Many people have also agreed that constantly seeing new and different homes, has helped them stay focused and motivated to save money for a down payment and to achieve higher credit ratings. After all, THIS IS about making your dream home, a REALITY.
Six Months Prior to Purchase
1) Start collecting all of the paperwork you will need for a mortgage loan. Different banks and mortgage companies will require different paperwork. If you don't have a lender yet, here at Columbia Real Estate, we can recommend several to you. Most of the lenders we work with will most certainly want the following; W-2 forms for all borrowers, three years of tax returns, three months of pay stubs, all of your credit card statements, six months of bank statements, previous addresses for the past five years, all retirement account and investment account statements.
2) Take it from experience, many home buyers have said, if they could change one thing about the loan process, it would be they would have been better organized on all of the data the lender needed. This can be a stressful part of the process, especially if you have never been through it before. As Benjamin Franklin said, "an ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure."
3) Now the really fun part, come see us at Columbia Real Estate. We are located at 2100 West Broadway Columbia, MO 65201. You can also call us at 573-777-7653. Come meet us and get to know us and our agents. We can recommend an agent that is experienced in the neighborhoods you are interested. Sometimes based on your needs and priorities, we will know of someone that can relate to you and is knowledgeable at what you need most. For example, some of our agents are instrumental helping our clients find first time home buyer programs. Some agents can also have more experience with lenders who will shop your loan to multiple lenders.
Three Months Prior to Purchase
1) Now it is time to your lender to pre-approve you for your new home loan. Sit down with your bank or mortgage lender so they can determine how much of a loan you can be approved for. Remember, living below your means can add comfort and reduce stress.
2) Have your real estate agent to put together a shopping list of all of the homes that fit your criteria. Be prepared to have fun shopping and looking at all of the different homes. Also, be sure to move swiftly should you find a home you want. Many times, the best homes on the market sell the fastest.
3) Once you find the home you want, work with your Columbia Real Estate Agent to make an offer on the home. They can help answer questions on timelines for moving out and moving in and all of the other details. One of the first things done after you have made an offer is you will want to have the home inspected. This can really help discover some of the uncertainties that could be lurking.
Get a home inspection. One of the first things you'll want to do after an offer is accepted is have a home inspector look at the property. If the home inspector finds something that needs repair, that's a common example of something that can delay closing.
Final Days Prior to Closing and Purchase
1) Top Priority is that you have reviewed and approved of all of the loan papers from your mortgage lender. You should have everything ready to go including your down payment that is due the day of closing. Our agents at Columbia Real Estate are professionals when it comes to closing real estate transactions. You can be assured we will review everything that is required before the proper deadlines. You should triple-check that all your financial documents are in order and review all lending documents before closing. Reviewing the mortgage documents is probably the most difficult. Your mortgage lender can help guide you through them.