Would you be a better fit for renting or buying? In this post, we discuss both options, and where you might fit in.
Have you recently been pre-approved for a mortgage? Congratulations! You’ve taken a big and important step along the path to homeownership, one that will make your buying experience much easier. Now you might be wondering what your next move should be. From this point, how do you reach your final destination and unlock the door to your new home? Here are some of the most important next steps you need to take as a buyer!
Securing the right real estate agent
Once you hear you’ve been pre-approved, you might be tempted to start combing through listings and sprinting to open houses. Not so fast! Of course this will become an important part of your housing journey, but you’re not quite there yet. First, you need to find a suitable real estate agent to represent you in the market. You will work very closely with your agent to narrow down housing options and negotiate offers, so this is a job you need to take seriously. The right real estate agent will be familiar with the housing market you’re searching in. They will also be responsive to your needs, and can walk you through their strategy to help you secure the right home. You can do your own research, meet with potential agents, and ask friends and family for recommendations. In this blog, we go into more detail about finding the perfect agent.
Narrowing down your housing needs
With your pre-approval under your belt and a real estate agent on your side, it’s time to start thinking about what you need in a home. This is your chance to dig deep and put some real thought into what you require. Consider housing type, size, location, age, style, price, etc. It’s important to know if you want to buy a condo or a detached home, and how many bedrooms you need. If you want to be in a busier urban zone with access to amenities and transit, or if you prefer a quieter rural setting, your agent should know. Maybe you plan to renovate any home you move into to make it feel more personalized, or perhaps you want a home that is totally move-in ready. Finally, and most importantly, you need to narrow down your buying budget. Being pre-approved doesn’t necessarily mean you should spend that amount on a home, so it’s time to take your financial situation into account. The more specific you are with your housing requirements, the easier it will be for you and your agent to narrow down potential matches.
Budgeting for closing costs
Your brain has likely been occupied by thoughts of your down payment, mortgage rates, and monthly mortgage payments. Those are certainly major aspects of homeownership, but they are not the only costs. Closing costs sometimes slip our minds during the housing hunt, but it’s time to bring them back into focus. You don’t want to remember at the last minute that you have to pay your legal fees or land transfer tax on top of everything else! As the name suggests, closing costs generally come at the end of your buying journey, once the home is about to be yours. These include the lawyer fees and taxes mentioned above, but it also includes moving fees, title transfer, and property insurance. After you’ve been pre-approved and you’re getting closer to actually buying a home, it’s really important to have a plan to handle these expenses!
Touring homes and submitting an offer
Finally, the part you’ve been waiting for! At this point, you know what you want and what you can afford, and you’re ready to start exploring some housing options. Now that the housing market has slowed down a bit, there isn’t quite as much pressure on buyers to submit an offer on the first home they see. This is a big commitment, so take your time looking at different homes and considering your needs. You should only be prepared to put an offer in on a home you truly want! Once you think you have found the right place for you, discuss your offer with your agent. They can help you decide on a smart offer that is likely to appeal to the seller.
Finalizing your mortgage financing
Finally, once your offer has been accepted and you’re in the home stretch, it’s time to secure your official mortgage financing. Remember your pre-approval wasn’t a locked-in promise from a lender, so you do have to go back for a final approval. You also don’t have to commit to the lender who granted you your pre-approval, so you’re free to shop around a bit. This is where contacting a mortgage broker comes in super handy. Using a broker is a great way to ensure you’re committing to the right product, with the right lender, for you!
Getting pre-approved is a great first step towards homeownership. Although you still have a big process ahead of you, with a bit of help from the right professionals, you’ll be moving into your new home in no time. Whether this is your first time buying or your tenth, we’re here to help you make the most of it.
If you have any questions about your mortgage, get in touch with us at Clinton Wilkins Mortgage Team! You can call us at (902) 482-2770 or contact us here.