By Nicole Rivers
Have you begun searching for a home, been pre-qualified by a lender only to find that there is a snag in the plan? Perhaps, you've found a home that meets your needs, but is beyond your budget. Or maybe, you're ready to purchase, you have saved a large amount towards the down payment, but did not factor in closing costs into your calculations, and you're now faced with having to wait another year unless you get a seller concession.
These scenarios and many others are very real hurdles that buyers in the market for a home sometimes face. Purchasing a home is as much about having a plan and a positive, motivated mindset as it is having good credit and great finances. Similar to other extensive endeavors we undertake throughout our lives - mindset, your psychological outlook and preparedness, makes a difference when buying a home.
Without a Plan, Plan to Fail
As mentioned earlier, challenges come with the territory when you consider that purchasing a home is one of the biggest expenses you'll incur in your life. Creating a plan, getting informed, and staying organized will empower you and make you feel more confident as a buyer.
- Do Your Homework - Think you might need help with closing costs or down payment? Research programs available in your city or state. Find out out what type of loan products are available and what down payments are required for each. Research the market you're interested in. If you're looking for homes in the $200,000 -$250,000 range, setting your sites on a neighborhood with median prices in the $400's will only end with you being disappointed.
- Ask Lots Of Questions - Buyers - especially those purchasing for the first time usually have a lot of questions about the home buying process - even if you've owned a home in the past, the real estate market its regulations are constantly changing, so you may find that asking questions will refresh your memory and help you to get clear on how new guidelines will affect you as you move forward. Remember your Real Estate team of Attorney, Realtor, and Mortgage Loan Officer are there to support assist you. They are more than willing to review information with you to make sure you are informed and comfortable.
- Get Clear On Your Wants and Needs - A three car garage is nice and it may be something you'd really like to have, but is it a "need?" In other words, is it a deal breaker when it comes to making a solid offer on a home? Determine what your "must-haves" and deal breakers are before you start shopping for a home. In your search you're sure to find some incredible properties. Stay mindful of your list to make sure that the home you choose truly meets your needs and offers bonus features you want.
- Get Organized - The average buyer looks at 12 homes before making an offer. Remembering the details about 3 or 4 homes let alone 12 is no small feat. Create a "home buyer dashboard" by using a simple notebook like this one from All Things Real Estate or use an accordion folder and standard notebook from Staples. Whatever style you choose, you'll relieve yourself of the pressure to remember what you liked about each home, who you spoke to about it, and how much the taxes were by tracking the process and organizing the documents related to buying your home.
It's All In Your Head
Planning and education will certainly help to counteract feelings of anxiety and confusion that sometimes creep up when you journey to buy a home, but can home buyers stay motivated and encouraged?
- Envision yourself living in the home you plan to buy. What does it look like? How does it feel when you sit on the couch. Spending a few minutes with your vision in mind daily help your mind remain focused on the goal at hand.
- Be patient. Remember this is one of the biggest, and most important purchases you'll make in a life time. Take your time and enjoy the process. The right home is out there and you will find it.
- Monitor your crew. Surround yourself with people who are supportive and who can encourage and remind you of your goals if you run into challenges along the way.
- Remember that "No" may really mean "Not right now." As the saying goes, "Timing is everything." Now may not be the right time for you to buy, but don't let that discourage you from continuing to save and improve your credit and take the necessary measures to ensure that your are prepared when the time is right.
Please Note: This article is provided for illustrative purposes only. It is not an offer or commitment to lend money, and it is not an advertisement for a specific mortgage or a specific interest rate. Contact me to run the numbers for your situation.
How Can I Help You?
As a mortgage loan officer with Jersey Mortgage Company, I can assist borrowers in New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida and Pennsylvania with getting pre-qualified for a home loan.
By offering information and educating clients on the mortgage loan process and servicing each borrower's individual needs, and partnering with Realtors to create a seamless transaction, I am able to exceed expectations and ensure that deals are closed on time!