Crucial and Overlooked Tips for New Home Buyers

 

Is it time to strike out on your own and purchase your first home? It’s an exciting prospect, particularly if you’ve never done anything but rent. There’s a sense of achievement that accompanies buying your own home, and a feeling of anticipation about the happy years you’ll spend in the new property.

Of course, there’s also the whirlwind of changes that you’ll probably want to make – repainting certain rooms, replacing carpet with hardwood and the like. However, it’s important to ensure that you know what you’re in for long before you get to closing. Here are a few of the most important tips new home buyers should know.

Shop Smart

This advice has been given before, but it pays to double down on it. You need to shop smart. Begin by making a list of all the things you absolutely must have in a property, along with notes about what you’d be willing to sacrifice to either obtain those things, or for something better.

However, this tip needs to be kept in mind in other ways, as well. For instance, there will likely be something that needs to be repaired or fixed in just about every property you view. Even brand new homes (and often, particularly, brand new homes) need some TLC before they’re perfect. Shop smart. Know what to look for in a home in the way of problems.

Is there a slight discoloration on the ceiling that might indicate a roof leak? Does the floor slope? Is the crown molding or chair rail starting to pull away? These are just a few minor examples. Understand what’s wrong, what it will take to fix it, and how that will impact your decision to buy or the amount you make in an offer for the home.

In a related note, don’t fall in love with upgrades or improvements alone. Yes, curb appeal is important, but is that new landscaping or vinyl siding more important than the fact that the roof is 25 years old and about to need replacing? Is the new hot tub out back more important than the fact that the HVAC system is from three decades ago? Upgrades can be important, but you need to learn to look past them to the reality of the home you’re considering.

Have a Buyer’s Agent

In most instances, you might assume that you’ll be working primarily with the seller’s real estate agent, and that is possible, although not advised. Really, you need a buyer’s agent on your side. Why? These professionals look out for your best interests (not the seller’s) and they usually won’t cost you a penny, as the seller is responsible for their fees.

What might a buyer’s agent do for you? Pretty much anything that a seller’s agent could do for the home owner. They can help you navigate pricing, find the right home in the right neighborhood, and answer questions before and after closing, as well as a lot more. Does it add time to your buying process? Sure. Is it important to have a buyer’s agent? Yes, very.

Find the Right Long Island Mortgage Company First

Too many buyers get off on the wrong foot when buying a home because they start looking at properties first thing. Finding a Long Island mortgage company first might seem like you’re putting the cart before the horse, but that’s not the case. In fact, it’s really a far wiser idea to work with a Long Island mortgage broker in the beginning than to try to secure financing after you’ve fallen in love with a property that ultimately ends up out of your price range.

By working with a Long Island mortgage broker initially, you can start the qualification process. Or, as is the case with Reliant Home Funding, you can do yourself one better and actually start the mortgage loan process itself. This goes farther than “pre-approval”, and actually gets you a loan approved by an underwriter contingent on you choosing a property.

It greatly speeds up the entire process, but can also alleviate the problem of finding a home that’s too far outside your price range. If you know how much you can spend before you start shopping around, you’re much less likely to even look at homes with a price tag beyond the amount you’ve been approved for in the loan. Work with a Long Island mortgage broker as one of the first steps in the process (if not the first step, after you’ve made sure you’re a financially viable candidate for home buying).

Armed with these tips, you should be better prepared to start the home buying process. We invite you to get in touch with Reliant Home Funding to learn more about your options and how a Long Island mortgage broker can help.

President

Gregory A. Topal

Gregory is Co-Founder and Licensed Loan Originator at Reliant Home Funding, Inc., a Long Island based Mortgage Company.  Gregory currently holds a Mortgage Loan Originator License in NY, NJ, CT, CO, FL and PA and plays an active role in running the company. (NMLS #: 38684)

Gregory was raised in Long Island, NY and attended SUNY Oneonta receiving a Business and Marketing degree in 2004. Shortly after graduating he started a career in Real Estate and has been fortunate enough to advance his career throughout the years. He believes his success can be attributed to consistently striving to exceed the expectations of his clients and colleagues.

Email:gtopal@rhfny.com

Direct:631-446-3103

Zillow:http://www.zillow.com/profile/gtopal/

NMLS::38684

4 Most Common Mistakes First Time Home Buyers Make

Buying a new home can be incredibly exciting. It’s a sign that you’ve finally made it, that you’re living the American Dream. However, it can also be a daunting, confusing process and if you’re new to it, there’s a significant chance that you’ll fall prey to one of these common mistakes made by first time home buyers. What are they, and what should you do to avoid them?

Not Working with a Long Island Mortgage Broker

There’s a sense with many first time home buyers that they don’t need to worry about securing a loan until they’ve found a property. On the surface, that seems to make sense, but does it, really? No, it really doesn’t. The reason for that is simple – if you don’t work with a Long Island mortgage broker at the start of the process, you have no idea how much you’ll qualify to borrow, or if you’ll qualify at all. Sure, you might have a good idea of your credit score, but what about your down payment? What about interest rates? What about the maximum amount you can borrow? Working with a Long Island mortgage broker early on gives you firm financial footing, and allows you to shop with confidence.

Renting Might Be Better

Yes, there’s a sentiment out there that you really need to own your home. It’s an important asset, right? It’s almost a rite of passage. For generations, home ownership has been sought after. However, it might not be the right case for you. In fact, there are plenty of people for whom owning a home would be a bad idea. For instance, if you’re not going to stay in the area for a long, long time, then why bother buying? If you’re single now and have no plans to start a family anytime soon, why buy? If you’re not prepared for all the responsibilities that owning a home brings to your life (mowing the lawn, paying taxes, repainting and repairing things, paying for homeowner’s insurance, etc.), then why buy a home?

You’re Saddled with Debt

A lot of focus is given to ensuring that your credit is in great shape before looking for a home, and that’s a good thing. However, you can have good credit and still be turned down for a mortgage. You need to understand that lenders do more than look at your history for blemishes and check your credit score. They’re also looking at your debt to income ratio – the amount of money you have going out every month for debt as opposed to the amount of money you have coming in every month. If your debt to income ratio is too skewed, it really doesn’t matter how good your credit score is. The lender will feel that you will be unable to meet all of your financial obligations and still be able to put food on the table and keep the lights on. That makes you a risky proposition.

Not Checking Market Trends

When you’re ready to buy a home, you should go out and do it. Right? Well, not so much. Buying a home is like any other financial decision in some ways, but it’s more similar to making an investment than it is, say, buying a new pair of jeans. It’s crucial that you have an idea of what your local real estate market trends are, and where they’re expected to head. This is absolutely crucial, as it can lead to you paying tens of thousands of dollars more than you should, while owning property that isn’t worth the price you’re paying. It’s also important to know whether it’s a buyers’ market or a sellers’ market, as this will determine your cost of entry, the amount of inventory (homes for sale) and a great deal more. The lower the inventory (supply) the higher the prices will rise. Conversely, if demand is low, prices will drop. Shop smart and track market movements so you can get in when the time is right.

Of all these mistakes, perhaps the single most important one to avoid is not working with a Long Island mortgage broker. You simply cannot leave this to chance, or to the whims of the market. You can’t play Russian roulette and just apply with lenders randomly. That is definitely not a good way to get the right loan for your needs, but it is a great way to end up saddled with high interest rates (or to be turned down completely). If you’re ready to buy a home, get in touch with us at Reliant Home Funding to discuss your future.

President

Gregory A. Topal

Gregory is Co-Founder and Licensed Loan Originator at Reliant Home Funding, Inc., a Long Island based Mortgage Company.  Gregory currently holds a Mortgage Loan Originator License in NY, NJ, CT, CO, FL and PA and plays an active role in running the company. (NMLS #: 38684)

Gregory was raised in Long Island, NY and attended SUNY Oneonta receiving a Business and Marketing degree in 2004. Shortly after graduating he started a career in Real Estate and has been fortunate enough to advance his career throughout the years. He believes his success can be attributed to consistently striving to exceed the expectations of his clients and colleagues.

Email:gtopal@rhfny.com

Direct:631-446-3103

Zillow:http://www.zillow.com/profile/gtopal/

NMLS::38684