The CDA Top Agent team has been hard at work finding great deals this year. Our team has been amazed at the amount of market movement this year! All of the experts are predicting a huge surge in real estate home buying over the next 3 years, making NOW the time to buy! Each year, we work with hundreds of buyers who ask a huge variety of questions that we want to start answering on our Top Agent Blog! If you have any real estate questions please feel free to email us! We'd love to hear from you and always answer promptly. Now, on to our buyers guide.
This year's real estate market is exploding. While we have a normal amount of regional traffic (local buyers upgrading/downgrading houses) thousands of new families are moving to the area. This creates a much more congested market, and its getting increasingly harder to find new homes. When you're looking to move into the area or upgrade homes, there are several steps to take to increase your chances!
1. Get Pre-approved. One of the perks to being buyers is free advice! The cost to sell a home is on the sellers and Realtor, allowing you to take advantage of "free stuff." One of the most important is mortgage pre-approval. If you have purchased a home before you'll be familiar with the process, but we want to explain what pre-approval is for first time home buyers!
The most significant part of buying a home is the mortgage. There is tons of confusion about the process and we want to clear it up! Mortgages are handled by banks, or direct lenders, and have their own processes and fees. Bank loans tend to have more stability and less fees, but have more restrictions (larger deposits, stricter credit checks, etc). Mortgage lenders (most mortgages are through lenders directly) have the most competitive rates and market, but usually tack on many fees. The best way to find out which mortgage is best for you is through your Realtor! Seriously, we are a free resource for buyers, and have our favorite lenders for every circumstance!
Pre-approval is the process of setting up the mortgage pre-purchase. Most people get so excited about the home buying (i mean, we all do it) they tend to leave the mortgage to chance. Finding the home first is backwards! The home search should start with a lender. Finding out exactly how much buying power and risk you can have with your home gives you a huge leg up in the buying process! The bank or lender has access to a large database of individuals and mortgage rates, ensuring your not alone! Getting pre-approved for a loan ensures your financial footing is secure!
Typically when applying for loan pre-approval, you will need to present the lender with all your financial documents (you are literally applying for a loan, so they will treat it as such and need all the documentation). We offer a free guide to all the paperwork you will need here. In short you will need:
-Completed Mortgage application
-All your recent pay stubs
-Healthy and long term Credit Scores
-Copy of your credit history from the bureaus
-Identification for yourself and spouse (if you have one)
-Most recent tax returns
Some lenders require more or less items, but in general the above will get you covered. When you get pre-approved, the lender will provide you with a Good Faith Estimate (GFE for short) which briefly explains the terms of the loan you were approved for, and all the disclosures (the little but important legal bits that identify your loan to other officers).
In a nutshell that is it! Once pre-approved, you have a bonafide, "guarantee" for your loan acceptance, and you can go house shopping with confidence! Trust us! Shopping knowing your budget and buying power is an amazing experience and helps you focus on what is important: a home you can afford that your family will love! Good luck, and let us know if we can help!
-The CDA Top Agent Team