First Time Home Buyers Info You Can Use
New Year has come and gone. Remember 3 weeks ago when you added “buy a house” or “buy a condo” to your list of resolutions? Well unlike many of our resolutions (lose 10 lb, vacation in Mexico, learn to …. something) this resolution will take a while. You need to start thinking about it, planning it and amassing your team in January. Now.
Who is on your First Time Home Buyer team?
- Your Realtor: Interview carefully. Ensure that the person you work with is experienced, knowledgeable and available. The market is still to tight to risk working with some guy out of Denver who cannot make time to show you a house in Louisville this afternoon or hasn’t returned your calls/emails for days. Your questions are important and your Realtors commitment to you, is too. You get what you pay for… And don’t kid yourself! The seller pays the buyers agent with money they got from YOU! Need a great Realtor? Call me: 303-746-6765
- Lender: Perhaps the first thing you need to do is decide what you can afford and how much you are comfortable paying each month. They are not necessarily the same number. Your lender and Realtor should work closely to manage your expectations, provide the info you need quickly and ultimately get you to your goal without lots of stress and uncertainty. Behind the scenes, your lender (the front man) will also have a team working for you. You will often get emails from the processor once the loan application is underway and indirectly, you should expect the underwriter to send you messages and requests too. Need a great lender? Call me: 303-746-6765
- Inspector: A little further into the process of buying you should have your new place inspected. Know what you are buying. Get an education about that particular house and an understanding of what will need repairing, replacing or correcting in the next few years, so you can factor that into your budget. Your Realtor can help with recommendations to inspectors that are thorough, honest and who will not unduly alarm you either. A professional inspector carries his own insurance and you can rest assured that the home is protected by this during his inspection – unlike when you decide that your brother-in-law would do a decent and much cheaper job! Need a great inspector? Call me: 303-746-6765
- Escrow Agent/Closer: Behind the scenes, while you are working on other real estate stuff, someone is checking such things as liens that must be paid off at closing, whether the title is clear to be transferred to you at closing by the seller on the contract, who needs a power of attorney or translator at closing, whether property taxes are paid and when to order the final water meter reading. This person is keeping the earnest money safe and preparing documents for closing that the lender and the Realtors approve of. At any given time while under contract, the closer is also available to answer questions you have about wiring funds to closing, signing your documents from another state and understanding title insurance too. They are a huge (and often under-appreciated) part of your team and your Realtor or the Listing Agent should already have strong and lengthy relationships with the title company that is being used.
- Seller/Listing Agent: Ok, so maybe calling them “your team” is hard to get your mind around right now, but consider this: You both have the same goal and motivation to get there. You rely on each other to cooperate with appointments and supply honest information that is critical for a successful transaction. Establishing an honest, collaborative and even friendly relationship will benefit you down the road… When you have questions about making the sprinkler system work or would like the contact info for the guy who cleans the chimney or services the well etc, you’ll need to call the seller. And when the seller’s mom accidentally sends the Christmas gifts to their old address, they will want to arrange a parcel pickup! Any Realtor worth their salt will recommend a win-win transaction and work tirelessly to smooth the way for a happy, communicative deal.
And finally a little bit of info about who is buying, what the debt to income ratio requirements are for certain loans etc.