St. Louis Mortgage Help

Buying a New Home this Spring or Summer? Get Prepared!

March 7th, 2014 1:20 PM by Bob Rutledge

The spring and summer months are traditionally the busiest times of year for the residential real estate market, and locally that will be truer this year. It is a safe bet that the weather will be more cooperative and many families like to move while the kids are on their summer break.

Also, in recent years spring, for many regions, has meant more homes on the market and with inventories so low we need more homes on the market, as well as more buyers. With more buyers and a lower than normal inventory we will see fierce competition for the homes that are being sold and an increase in prices.

If you are in the market for a house this spring, there are a number of steps you can take to try to give you an advantage over other homebuyers, including;

  • If you're going to work with a Realtor or real estate professional, get started early. Interview three or four, get references, research them online, and let the person you choose know exactly what you're looking for. This means you must know what you want, where, whys, and hows. The best agent for you is the agent that will work with you, how you want to work, they will accommodate your needs, situation, circumstances, and preferences. Always keep in mind they know real estate you know you.
  • Get yourself at least pre-qualified better yet, pre-approved. This will give an advantage on several fronts. First, it will be done and out of the way. Second, you'll know how much a mortgage lender is willing to loan you so you know in which price range to look. And third, it shows sellers that you're serious and ready to buy when you make an offer.
  • Figure out how much you have for a down payment. NAR says first-time buyers typically make a down payment of 6 percent on a home purchase, and 24 percent of down payment funds were gifts from relatives or friends. If that's not an option, there are many loan programs that accept down payments of five percent or less. And don't forget closing costs, which will often run two to seven percent of the property's purchase price. I am a bit biased but just as it was suggested before about interviewing and searching for the right real estate professional the same is true about mortgage providers. WE ARE ALL NOT THE SAME! Know what you want and need in how you will finance your next new home and find that lender that can provide it. Speak with a wide range of lenders, talk with a bank, talk with a mortgage lender, do your research, ask questions. Your mortgage will be your biggest investment that you may ever make, do so wisely.
  • Once you have your team is in place be ready at a moment's notice. If you're in an especially tight market (which we are), your Realtor will be reviewing new listings as soon as they're available. If he or she finds something that matches your criteria, you will want to look at the house and be ready to make an offer -- quickly.
  • When looking at houses, look at the potential. There are major factors you won't be able to change -- the neighborhood, proximity to work and schools, the basic floor plan of the house (unless you plan on renovating), and size of the back yard, among other things. If you're put off by paint or carpet color or old linoleum floors, envision what the walls will look like with your color of choice and the floors in a material you prefer. Look at all homes with an open mind, you may never find that perfect home but more than likely the near perfect will have to do. But NEVER EVER settle, this is wrong as your home will always be your place of refuge and must represent to you and your family as your place to go for peace of mind.
  • Right now you will be buying in a seller's market, listen carefully to your Realtor or agent about how much you should offer. If there's competition you may want to offer more than the listing price and you should consider whether to try asking for things like carpet allowances or a long closing date. If you know the sellers may have several offers in front of them, you'll want to make yours the best. This is when your team working for you may be able to help provide alternatives that can help with making the strongest offer. This is especially true of your lender teammate, we can possible structure your financing to provide you with what you would have asked the seller for in a buyer’s market.
  • Begin thinking about homeowners' insurance now. Begin by making sure your credit report is accurate -- credit histories are sometimes used to determine whether a company will insure you, and, if so, at what rate.

With the current housing market be such a seller heavy market many of my home buyers are having a difficult time securing their new home simply because there are so few homes available at the moment and many more home buyers.

Assemble your team members now, allow them to make your game plan, get you prepared, and then act. Your real estate agent knows the market, they understand negotiating, and are willing to share and provide it all to you.

Your lender will know you and your financial situation better than anyone else but you, tell them everything, share with them your wants and needs. We can shape a mortgage program to provide you or nearly any home buyer with what they need. You need help with down payment and/or closing costs most lenders can accommodate this need. You are willing to purchase a near perfect home many lenders can provide mortgage programs that will roll in the costs of making your near perfect home perfect.

Posted in:General
Posted by Bob Rutledge on March 7th, 2014 1:20 PM


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