- Flynn Realty Associates
The most important factor in buying a home is probably financing. Once you make the decision to buy a home, the first step should be to get loan approval and find out how much you can afford.
Working with a good lender or broker who is resourceful is very important. Many prefer working with a mortgage broker who has access to many different programs and lenders to help find the right fit. The important thing is to listen very carefully to your lender or mortgage broker on what to do to maintain your approval, as one small, seemingly innocent action can mess up your approval. It can be something small like getting a new credit card offered to you while making a purchase at a store, making a late payment on existing debt, or using your credit cards to pay for new purchases. Home buyers often forget these little details and don't realize that their credit report will probably have to be resubmitted due to the amount of time that lapses from the initial loan approval to when they make an offer on a home. Having new adverse activity can be a deal breaker, particularly if your score is just barely qualifying you.
Once you have a realtor to search homes for you, give your lender permission to speak with the realtor on what you can qualify for, location, price, type of home, etc. so they can refine their searches to a perfect match for you. When the home of your dreams comes on the market, get ready to move fast to see the property and get your lender approval letter and an offer submitted.
If you are looking at an entry level home, making your highest and best offer is recommended as the property will likely have multiple offers. While some properties are overpriced, your realtor should be able to provide comps for the property you are interested in. Making lowball offers on homes is not a good idea, particularly in our current seller marketplace.
If you have the good fortune of finding and getting an accepted offer, don't mess it up by buying appliances or other items for your future home, and pay all your bills on time. You want to keep your financial situation the same and without any new debt until after your home closes. Home sales fall through most often due to financing problems, so listen carefully to your lender or broker's advice on maintaining your credit.