The answer is very unique to you. Although your current financial situation may dictate how much you can afford and how quickly you can buy, we believe your short term and long terms goals play a just as an important part in answering the question. You are more than just your income and your credit score.
- Quality of Life – Home ownership is part of a better quality of life for most buyers. The quality of our living situation directly impacts how we feel.
- Avoid the Tax Man | Tax Deductions – Buying a home helps you avoid the tax man with tax deductions for both mortgage interest and property taxes. Property taxes and qualified interest are deductible on an individual’s federal income tax return.
- Spend Money to Make Money – With the right real estate consultant, home ownership and the potential for appreciation means that ultimately you have the opportunity to get a return on your investment.
- Deferred Gain and Capital Gain Treatment – A homeowner can exclude up to $500,000 of capital gain tax if married and filing jointly or up to $250,000 if single or filing separately when you sell your home. The home must have been the taxpayer’s principal residence for the previous two years.
- Principal Accumulation – As a homeowner, a portion of each amortized mortgage payment typically goes to principal, which in the long run is an investment.
- It’s The American Dream – Owning a home is THE American Dream. We work with many first time home-buyers; and it truly is a dream come true for them.
- Independence – For many homeowners, one of the greatest freedoms is acquired through home ownership. They can get rid of their landlord and are no longer surrounded by neighbors in an apartment with thin walls. The freedom to do much of what they wish with their homes is a big incentive for many new homeowners.
- Leverage – At the current interest rates, you can put your money to work somewhere else. These days you can still purchase a home for as little as 3% down (or less if a veteran and USDA programs).
- Why rent when you can own? The real cost of renting at $900 per month with 6% rental increase per year means you will pay $142,358 over 10 years. Just think, you could almost pay off a home for that amount!
- Because you get to work with us! We promise to make this as easy as possible!
While it’s tempting to fall in love with a beautifully staged home, it’s important to judge a home for more than just the decor — paint jobs can easily be changed according to your taste, whereas structural elements can be much more costly to fix. Look for aging appliances, loose wires, and foundation problems. Feel the temperature — is the house well insulated? Do the roof shingles look old and in need of repair? We ALWAYS recommend you hire an excellent home inspector so we can focus on the items that may eventually turn into costly repairs.
Location is important and always think resale. You can improve condition, but you can’t change location. Ultimately, it all comes down to your personal taste, your lifestyle and what fits within your budget. Everyone has different preferences, and we will work to understand your specific wants and needs.
With pre-qualification, you’ll supply a brief overview of your financial history to the lender and they will review this information to provide an estimate of what you would qualify for.
Pre-approval is closer to the real deal. It requires a closer look at official documentation to verify your financial situation.
While a pre-qualification is generally enough for us to submit an offer on a home you love, a pre-approval will make our offer much more attractive if we are in a multiple-offer situation.
Most lenders will have you go online to apply in order to gain pre-approval. Following is the information you will most likely need to provide during the loan application process (usually uploaded electronically):
- Non-expired Government ID and Social Security Number
- Name and complete address for past 2 years of residence
- Employment history, including names, addresses, phone numbers for the past 2 years.
- Copies of your most recent pay stubs and W-2 forms (past 2 years).
- Verification of other income (social security, child support, retirement).
- Copies of signed tax returns including all schedules (past 2 years).
- Social Security & Pension Award letters.
- If you have rental property income: Copies of all signed lease agreements.
- Copies of all bank statements from checking/savings accounts (past 2 months).
- CD certificates and statements for retirement accounts (most recent 2 months or quarterly statement).
- Gift funds will need gift letter of proof of gift.
- Credit cards (current balances and monthly payments).
- Installment loans (car, student, etc.).
- Mortgage loans (property address, lender with address, account numbers, monthly payment and balance owed on all properties presently owned or sold within the last 2 years). Bring proof of sale.
- Child Care expense/support (name, address, phone number). [VA loans only]
- Bankruptcy – bring discharge and schedule of creditors.
- Adverse credit – bring letters of explanation.
- Divorce – bring your Divorce Decrees, property settlements, quitclaim deeds, modifications, etc.
- VA only – bring Form DD214 and Certificate of Eligibility.
- Retirees – bring retirement and/or Social Security Award Letter.savings, or money market accounts. This is another standard mortgage document for pre-approval. All lenders require this.
- Get pre-qualified with a lending specialist
- Shop for your dream home with an accomplished real estate professional
- Choose a top 2 list
- Place an offer on #1
- Be prepared for a counter offer
- Sign and date the effective contract
- Take note of the option period
- Order inspections and negotiate repairs
- Terminate or proceed with the contract
- After final approval, go to closing to sign and own your new home
Although it may feel like an overwhelming undertaking, we are here to guide you every step of the way.