First Time Home Buyers

10 steps to buying a home:

  1. Hire a  Local Realtor -Buying a home with the assistance of a buyer’s agent makes sense.  First, you will have an advocate that is focused solely on your interests. Negotiations in the home buying process can be tricky and it is highly advisable to use a professional Realtor to negotiate terms on your behalf.  A buyer’s agent can provide expert guidance in areas of pricing, determining property taxes, evaluating inspections and neighborhood value; they can tell you about the schools and required permits. Best of all, a buyer’s agent doesn’t cost you a penny. Compensation comes from the seller of the home. Moreover, a buyer’s agent also has full access to the Arizona Multiple Listing Service, National Association of Realtor’s and the Cromford Report.  In other words a buyer’s agent provides you with valuable information not available to the public.  In addition, I provide my clients with several services that can not be found by searching the Internet for information.  I have access to show all properties that are currently on the market.  In addition to this I network with valley agents to stay on top of what is coming on the market.
  2. Assess Your Situation, Motivation and Limitations – If you are not ready, willing and able to buy then you probably shouldn’t begin your search just yet.  Ready means that you are emotionally able to invest in a home. Homeownership is not for the immature, so if you have some growing up to do, take care of that first. Owning a home is a huge responsibility. Willing means that you are eager to search for a home and willing to put forth the effort that the search will require. It is your Realtor’s job to assist you not to persuade you to buy.  Able means that you qualify for the loan and you have the money for a down payment and closing costs.  Don’t get in over your head.  Make sure you can comfortably afford a house payment
  3. Have a Lender pull your credit. Running your credit before you apply for a loan is smart. Look for discrepancies and clear them up. You can dispute them with the credit bureau or the company. Polishing your credit will make a difference. Do not expect one credit bureau to relay the message to the others. It is your responsibility to make sure disputes are satisfied with all three bureaus. Lenders consider all three, so clean each one. The three major credit bureaus you can request your credit report from are:
    • Trans Union 1- 888-503-0048
    • Equifax 1-800-977-2493
    • Experian 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
  4. Shop For A Mortgage Lender – Shopping for a good mortgage professional is extremely important. Do some research before contacting your lender. Find out what programs you may qualify for. Some companies do not have access to all programs. You may qualify for a government grant, but the lender you have chosen does not have access to those funds. This is why you need to know ahead of time what you qualify for. It is important to know how much money you will need to put down. A down payment is usually between 3.5% and 20% of the total cost of the home. Some lenders also have loan options that allow for no down payment.  In addition to the down payment, many mortgages require two months of mortgage payments in savings.  This is called reserves.  There are mortgages that do not require reserves, however. Earnest money is not a down payment. It is a deposit that is presented with an offer to show the buyer’s good faith. If the contract is accepted by the Seller the earnest money is deposited with a third party (the Title Company) and credited to the buyer at closing.  Do your homework and choose a Realtor, who will educate you on the home buying process, so that you know exactly what to expect.
  5. Calculate the Numbers -PITI stands for Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance.  These are the four elements of a monthly mortgage payment.  Payments of principal and interest go directly towards repaying the loan while the portion that covers taxes and insurance goes into an escrow account to cover fees when they are due.
  6. Write Down Your Wants and Needs -
    Wait, don’t start searching just yet. You should do some evaluating first. Evaluate what you want in home vs’ what you need in a home. Moreover, what are you willing to compromise? Do you need 2500 square feet or do you want it? Needs are must haves. Wants are perks you could happily live without. If school districts are important make it a non-negotiable need. You’d love to have a pool, but could happily live without one. Happily is a keyword here. If you do not think that you will be happy without a pool make it a need. It is expensive to add a pool later and you may only pay $8,000 more for a home with a pool vs’ a home without one.  Would you like to have no HOA, but could live with one? Do you need a three car garage? These are just a few things to think about.
  7. Seller’s Compensate Your Realtor: As a Buyer, it typically does not cost you anything to have a Realtor represent you. Mr. Seller pays his agent a full commission if you do not have representation or splits the commission if you are represented. Regardless of whether or not you use a Realtor the seller will pay the same amount of commission!  This is also true for new builds.  As a Buyer, you might be asked to sign a Buyer-Broker Exclusive Employment Agreement by your Realtor. This agreement basically states that you, the Buyer, agree to work with this Real Estate professional, to have that professional with you on your first visit to any property, to have the Realtor assist you in writing any purchase agreements, and that you know and agree to the Realtor being paid a commission by the Seller or Seller’s Broker. Many Realtor’s do not require it.  I however, am loyal to my clients and I expect the same in return.
  8. Let The Search Begin:Your search should:Be Easily accessible – I will send it to you via emailKeep track of declining pricesMaintain your favorite listings – you will have the ability to save your favorites and make notes when I email your search tool to youBe interactive – There is no reason to have to input it again and again on various Web sites.  All listings are pulled from the same MLS and by utilizing one search tool you will control the search rather than it taking over your life.
  9. Make An Offer – Be sure that your agent is equipped to negotiate the best possible terms for you.  I will assist you in purchasing a new build home, resale home, foreclosure, short sale or any for sale by owner property.
  10. Get An Inspection – After your offer is accepted it is important that you get a home inspection.  When purchasing a short sale I recommend completing the inspection prior to acceptance, because lender approval could take months.  Advantage Inspection Service located in Phoenix, Arizona offers a wide array of home inspection information and services.   As your home buying liaison I will coordinate all necessary home inspections, including a termite inspection, for you to make the home buying process as easy as possible for you.

The Queen of HUD
(480) 206-6425
Realty One Group
4041 S. McClintock Rd Ste 310
Tempe, AZ 85282


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