Buying and moving into a new home is one of life’s great experiences, especially if you’re buying your first home. From getting that pre-approval to the “yes!” response on an offer to closing and moving in, every step is exciting. And while the process is engaging and fun, it’s important to prepare for moving day […]
Buying a home? Build your team of professionals
Buying a home is an exciting and complex undertaking. Whether you’re considering a single-family home, a townhome, a garden condominium, a duplex or something else, you want to “get it right” and not pay more than necessary.
Since people typically don’t buy a home more than a few times in their lives, it’s difficult to develop the expertise that comes with experience. Fortunately, experienced professionals are available to help in every phase of the homebuying process.
Get the help you need in buying your next home
Typically, a home purchase involves working with a loan officer from a mortgage company or bank, a real estate agent, a home inspector, a title company, and in some cases, a surveyor and professionals in specialized areas, such as mold remediation or basement/foundation repair.
Many homebuyers choose to first connect with a real estate agent and let that agent put them in touch with the necessary service providers to complete the purchase.
It’s important to know, however, that while this route is convenient, you should still do your best to vet these recommendations as if you were hiring them yourself. If a referral doesn’t meet your needs, seek recommendations from other people you trust.
Your loan officer is your most important professional
Why? Since most buyers finance their home purchase, the loan officer can help buyers set their budget and know what they can afford before they go home-shopping.
A skilled loan officer will:
- Work with you to assess your financial position, debt-to-income ratio and budget to determine how much you can finance.
- Assess your eligibility for Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Veterans Administration (VA), Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or other financing options.
The work of the loan officer is the foundation of a home purchase.
Select the right real estate agent
Real estate companies and real estate agents seem to be everywhere. Many use targeted online advertising, radio ads, direct mail campaigns and more to market their services.
Learning about a real estate agent’s company, experience and of course, rates are also extremely important. An experienced loan officer can provide referrals or input regarding local real estate agents.
Thorough and skilled home inspectors are a must
An experienced home inspector is a key member of your homebuying team. These professionals will assess a home from top to bottom, identifying existing problems, developing issues, strengths, weaknesses, and looming maintenance items.
A home inspector can provide meticulous details on what a home needs, when it will be needed, and some ballpark pricing on those repairs. All this information directly impacts the value of a home and its potential.
Title companies matter
Title companies are an often-overlooked part of the homebuying process. After all, the title company’s work happens relatively late into the purchase of a home.
But these are important professionals, and choosing the right title company matters. The work of the title company involves documenting vast amounts of information, performing detailed research on the property to be purchased, completing countless forms, ensuring all forms are properly signed and more.
Buyers often let a realtor select a title company. That can be fine, but buyers who want control and peace of mind should at least do basic research on title companies – even those recommended by their real estate agent.
Surveyors can prevent long-term headaches
Not every home purchase involves a land survey. For example, the purchase of garden condominium isn’t normally going to require a survey. But, for purchases of homes on an individual plot of land, a current, professional survey can give a you rock-solid information on the land you’re purchasing.
This can matter a great deal. If a fence, driveway or other features of a home are actually built on a neighbor’s property, or property owned by a city, county or state, then the owner of that fence or driveway could end up paying to correct the situation – even if the error is mere inches.
It may seem almost impossible, but it happens every day. It’s far better to avoid headaches and expenses by working with an experienced and skilled surveyor when purchasing a home.
Get the service you need; contact a SmartMortgage loan officer
The loan officers at SmartMortgage have experience supporting countless buyers seeking conventional and innovative financing for homes. Regardless of your situation, our loan officers will support you from application to closing and are ready to help you from start to finish.
Contact us today and get the professional advice and service you need.