One of the essentials in becoming a first-time home buyer is taking the necessary steps for pre-qualification.
The pre-qualification letter comes from a lending institution that you have dealt with on-line or face-to-face, and it indicates a dollar amount that you will qualify for should all the conditions of the lending institution be met. In other words, it’s a cursory look at your income minus expenses at a given period of time.
As mentioned previously, it will make a difference in your eligibility if you are looking at condos; their monthly fee will be added to expenses, where single homes have no fees. From the outset, you should determine which housing is best for you, and have the bank qualify you for either or both. Based on the information you give the bank, the dollar amount you qualify for will probably be different.
Once you have found a home, whether it be condo or single house, your agent will draw up a contract to purchase, using your pre-qualification letter as a tool to have your offer considered. Once the offer is accepted, you must work in earnest with your agent and banker to fulfill all the requirements in your contract during the time allotted.
How anxious are you to venture into a snowstorm without proper clothing? Think about what’s necessary and prudent. An overcoat or warm jacket, preferably with hood, warm pants or long skirt with tights (my friend dresses this way when we walk in winter,) high boots with thick socks underneath, a scarf, and definitely a hat and gloves. Now that you’re outfitted, you can go out with the comfort of knowing that you are protected.
Why is it then that you are venturing into the real estate market, bound and determined to find the house of your dreams, without the protection and comfort of a pre-approval letter in your folder from a reputable lending institution. If you’re looking at single homes, the guidelines will be different from those of a condominium…so, if you are unsure of what you want, get pre-qualificatied for both. The surprise will be that you qualify for more mortgage dollars if it is a single home!
How is that? you might question. Well…condos have a HOA, the monthly cost to the association that pays for your maintenance of the exterior as well as the grounds of the village. This fee should also include some residuals for roofs and decks, etc. And it’s this fee that’s added to your projected mortgage amount, taxes, insurance and that car payment and credit card payments you have. If you have college expenses, they’re added in the mix.
Once you have your pre-qualification letter, not a guarantee of loan, but a guideline for looking, interview agents and find the one best suited to your temperament. Find an agent that puts your goals and realty needs and desires above theirs. Look for an agent that will keep in touch, notify you of new listings that meet your criteria, and call you when a property has been reduced so that you will be one of the first to view it at the new price.
Communication is key to the house-buying process. Keep a dialogue going between you and your agent of changing needs. Above all, during this process, increase your savings, pay down debt; hold off buying a new car.
Hi Everybody! I am back in business after a somewhat prolonged retirement at age 58. During that time, we were blessed with 12 grandchildren, and have been able to grow with them. At a very ripe age, I am now learning algebra with Megan, our 10-year old granddaughter. Our grandsons, Luke and Cooper, the youngest, are in kindergarten full-time, and in 2012, I felt it was time to transition into the real estate market where my business career began long years ago.
I have been a licensed Broker for 35 years; information not given lightly. My husband, Nate, and I were partners in real estate with NORTHWEST CORNER PROPERTIES, and we have seen the best and worst of years during that time. We survived! and then we sold our business. During those business years, I was mentored by the very fair-minded and incomparable appraiser, Tom Hoban. During the next five years, my partner and I were in and out of Litchfield County homes appraising similar and some times the very same properties I had seen with Tom. I love the business of real estate and the challenges it presents. I work by appointment with both buyers and sellers. My style is consultative, and the foundation of my business is communication; integrity, solid information and fairness.
The primary purpose of this blog is to provide tips for buying and selling properties in Litchfield County CT.
Please feel free to contact me at any time to discuss your realty needs in Litchfield County Connecticut. I am a Broker Associate with Bain Real Estate, The Best in Country Living, with offices in Kent, Sharon and Cornwall Bridge. I can be reached at my home office in Bantam, 913 Bantam Road (Route 202 – across from the Brick Antique Center,) Bantam. Cell is 860-597-7516.