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How to Navigate the Homebuying Process

Create a budget and determine what is affordable

  • Buyers can generally afford a home that is between two and three times their gross income. They shouldn’t spend more than 30 percent of their monthly income on housing.
  • Consider down payments, qualifying for loans and closing costs
  • The amount you save for a down payment will depend on your loan type
  • If possible, save around 20 percent of the purchase price for a down payment – the higher the down payment, the lower the mortgage’s interest expense, including no PMI
  • Remember additional expenses
  • Property taxes, insurance, maintenance and utilities
  • Regular home maintenance or unexpected repairs
  • Taxes, attorney’s fees, credit report, home inspection and transfer fees
  • Possible contingencies
  • Fees from third parties and services for appraisal, surveys and inspections

Research and prioritize important features

  • Create list of needs and wants based on what you can realistically afford. Consider:
  • Location, amenities, proximity to work and schools
  • Estimated long term/future resale market prices 
  • Using SABOR.com to search what is on the market

Get pre-approved by lenders

  • Pre-approval shows what you can afford based on budgets and makes offers more attractive to sellers; this also allows you to know how much home you can afford before you start looking
  • Check credit reports – make sure all problems are addressed

           Close the deal

  • Determine a strong offer amount, but be open to negotiations
  • Work with your REALTOR® to prepare written offers/contracts, manage expectations and handle negotiations
  • Understand the contracts 
  • A real estate transaction brings many notice, disclosure, contract and application forms – get clarification from your REALTOR®
  • Arrange for financing
  • Act fast in tight markets

         Remember to ask questions, work closely with and rely on your REALTOR®