Whether purchasing your first home or your fifth home, the experience is exciting and full of possibility, yet challenging and slightly overwhelming. As with any large project the best approach is to outline a plan. Home Partners suggest the following:
Pre-qualify for your mortgage. It is pointless to waste time and energy looking
for a new home until you know the price range you are considering. Most sellers
require a commitment letter from your mortgage company before considering your
offer. With recent advances in technology, obtaining pre-qualification for your
mortgage is quick and easy.
TIP: CAUTION – every time your credit is checked it reduces your credit score. Use discretion in “shopping” for the best interest rate.
TIP: ALWAYS ask the mortgage company for a “good faith estimate”. This is the only way you can really compare one loan and/or interest rate to another. Some mortgage companies will quote a lower rate but make up the difference in fees and points.
· Narrow down areas you wish to consider. Use this website to access the entire Multiple Listing Service (MLS) database for the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Click here to Search MLS. If you have children use this link School Profiles to help with decisions regarding schools.
TIP: New Construction - Builders will NOT offer a better price or additional incentives to buyers not represented by an agent. If they did, they would alienate the Realtor® community and builders depend on Realtors® for a significant portion of their sales.
CAUTION! If you visit a Model Home and register with the builder prior to obtaining Realtor® representation, the builder may not allow you to obtain Realtor® representation for his homes at a later date. In fact, the builder will usually assign one of his agents to represent a prospective buyer that does not have his own representation. Home Partners STRONGLY encourages you to have Realtor® representation (an unbiased agent with your best interests in mind) BEFORE visiting a model home.
· Be specific about what you want and what you don’t want in a new home. Rank these preferences from most important to least important. Bare in mind there is ALWAYS compromise in the purchase of a new home.
· Establish a time line, working backwards from when you want to move into your new home. Your Realtor® can be a huge asset to you at this point, especially if you must also sell your home. Your Realtor® will guide you on each step in the process and how long each step should take.
· Stay focused, be deliberate, and exercise patience. The long-term reward is worth the effort!