Many of our clients are right on the cusp of deciding to buy a home when they come to us. They’re interested in homeownership, but aren’t quite sure if they’re ready to take the plunge yet.
And that’s okay. In fact, we love it when buyers come to us six months to a year in advance. It gives us the opportunity to work with them to get the best rate possible.
If you’re thinking about buying your first home but aren’t quite ready to come meet with us, keep reading. We’d love to walk you through the first steps to buying a home so you’re more prepared when the time comes. And who knows, maybe reading this will help you realize you are ready after all.
Making The Decision
Deciding to purchase a home is a major commitment, which is why people often struggle with the decision of whether to keep renting or buy. There are many financial and lifestyle factors that influence this decision, so it should not be taken lightly.
While we wish there was a foolproof quiz for you to take to help you decide, there isn’t. However, your answers to the following questions may help point you in the right direction.
- Do you have a stable career and income? If you can predict your income for the next 7-10 years, you are most likely financially prepared to purchase a home.
- Can you predict your housing needs for the foreseeable future? Your home shouldn’t just accommodate your needs at the moment, but for the next 5-10 years.
- Are you planning to stay in your city for five or more years? If you aren’t planning to stay in the same area for at least five years, it may not be worth it financially to buy.
- Are you ready for additional responsibilities? When you own a home, there is no landlord to call. You must be able to absorb the costs of repairs, in addition to your monthly mortgage payment.
The following items are great indicators that you are financially ready to buy: you aren’t in debt, you have an emergency fund saved, you have a down payment saved, and/or you have good credit.
Finding A Lender
Now that you’ve thought about whether you’re ready to take the first steps to buying a home, let’s talk about what to do when you’re ready.
First on the list is finding a lender. We cannot stress enough how important it is to speak with a lender before house hunting. Doing so will give you realistic expectations. Nothing ruins our day quicker than not being able to approve a client for their dream home.
Knowing what you can afford from the beginning will help to prevent this from happening. It can also help your realtor find you a home. If you’re pre-approved before you begin looking at homes, your realtor knows exactly what you can and can’t afford.
Another great thing about being pre-approved before house hunting is that if you do find a home you want to make an offer on, your offer will be taken seriously. In the current housing market, homes are selling fast. If the seller receives two offers on the same day, one from someone that’s pre-approved and the other from someone who isn’t, they’ll most likely go with the person they know can afford the home.
Taking the first steps to buying a home isn’t scary at all. If you’re still deciding or are ready to buy, give us a call at (402) 991-5153. We’d love to talk through your options and help make the process as simple and stress-free as possible.