When it comes to the home buying process, it’s not just about touring houses. After all, it’s a process. It consists of managing your finances, determining a mortgage loan amount, house hunting, meeting with professionals, and finally, finding the right home for you and securing it. Overwhelming? It can be. But with these organizational tips, not only will you feel in control of the home buying process but you may also save valuable time.
Manage current bills.
Your first order of business should be to get your finances organized and in good condition. Pay all of your bills in a timely manner, check your credit report, and rectify any outstanding issues. Reviewing your financial history and evaluating your credit standing is a critical initial step in finding a home and securing a loan.
Get all of your paperwork in order for a mortgage preapproval.
Yes, the home loan process should start before you begin touring homes! A preapproval states the specific loan and payment amount for which you qualify, based on the information provided. The documentation needed for a preapproval includes your income, assets, debts and credits, as well as your estimated down payment and Social Security number for a credit check. Knowing how much home you can afford allows you to shop with confidence.
Before you even begin house hunting, compile a list of all things you need, in order of importance. Include items like maximum price, square footage, number of bedrooms, and size of property. Then list all the things you want, such as a home office, walk-in closet, and fenced-in yard. Setting clear priorities and sticking to them helps make the touring process much more manageable and efficient.
And don’t forget to ask yourself the questions you typically don’t consider, but may be important, such as: Who was the builder of the house? Am I close to recreational venues? Is the home part of an HOA? These questions will help you further narrow your search, and ensure your new home and its neighborhood are a good fit.
Keep track of the homes you’ve seen.
Chances are, you’ll be looking at several homes before committing to one. It’s easy to forget the particulars of every home you’ve toured, so don’t. Create a checklist with very specific information about each property. Include:
Consider snapping photos of notable rooms and features to allow you to visually compare homes once it comes time to make decisions.
File names, phone numbers and emails
From realtors, home sellers, mortgage loan officers, inspectors, appraisers and more, you’ll be shaking a lot of hands and collecting a lot of business cards during this process. Create a spreadsheet of contacts with their pertinent info to make it easy to keep track and reference when needed.
Review your notes.
Now your organizational skills will come in handy! Take your checklists and documents from each home you’ve toured and compare them. House A may be less expensive than House B, but House B has an additional bathroom. House C may have a large backyard, but the kitchen is smaller than you’d like. Organize your notes and thoughts and determine those homes that are worth pursuing further.
Finding the perfect home for you and your family will take time. By staying organized and on top of every detail of the home buying process, you’ll be equipped to make the best choice for you and your situation.
Think you’ve found the perfect home? A ditech Home Loan Specialist will be with you every step of mortgage process to put you on the path to homeownership. Find a Home Loan Specialist now.