Thinking of buying your first home? Here are some helpful tips to get you started.
The very first thing you need to do before you even set one foot into a house is go over all your finances ahead of time. You don't want to find the home of your dreams only to learn you can't afford it. Now is the time to get a copy of your credit report, all your bank statements and any financial liabilities and determine how much you actually have. Once you have a good idea, sit down with a lender and let them look it over. Shop around as this is a big purchase and you want the best rate and the best deal you can find.
A good lender or mortgage broker can let you know if you are not quite there yet. They can help you set goals to get into your new home quicker. They can tell you where to pick up the pace in certain areas for a faster approval. They can also issue a pre-approval letter to submit to sellers when the offer time comes. This proves to the seller you are a serious buyer that has done the homework necessary to purchase real estate.
Once you have the finance side down, you will want a representative on your side throughout the process, handling legal jargon and negotiating on your behalf. This is where a buyer's agent comes into play. Find an agent that specializes in helping first time buyers and one you feel comfortable with. There is usually no contract on this side so if ever you feel you cannot work with a particular agent, you can technically "fire" them to find one that works better with you. Once an agent has spent a good amount of time with you though, it really is the proper thing to do to continue with that agent. There is nothing more disappointing than an agent that spends hours working with a buyer only to have that buyer go around them with a listing agent on another home. This not only is frustrating but as a buyer, it could potentially cost you thousands. Remember, your buyer's agent knows your finances and will negotiate for you for the home you really want. A listing agent is only interested in selling that particular home and their first priority is to the seller and not you. A buyer's agent will make sure you get the best deal with the right terms.
Once you have found an agent, pre-approval letter in hand, make sure you really know what you want. Make a list of the things you hate, could tolerate and things you really want in a home. The good thing is there is plenty of inventory on the market right now boasting excellent prices. With the right agent and brokerage behind you, you are certain to find exactly what you are looking for in Whidbey Island homes.