It’s been a long time dream of yours, and now you’ve decided to make it happen. You’re excited, nervous, and maybe even a little overwhelmed. Whether you’re in Bellevue, Kirkland, Seattle or any other surrounding areas, there’s a lot that goes into buying a home in Seattle, and it can be confusing at first. With some due diligence, though, you can be enjoying your new house worry-free in no time.
Follow these six tips to help the process go as smooth as possible when making your first home purchase.
1. Your Credit Score
When it comes to qualifying for a Kirkland, Bellevue, or Seattle Mortgage, your credit score is the most important factor for your eligibility. Obtain a copy of your most up-to-date credit report, look for any mistakes or unpaid accounts and if there are any, and get them fixed as soon as possible. If you have damaged credit, begin the repairing process at least six months before you plan to make your home purchase.
2. Find Out What Mortgage You Qualify For
Before going on your house hunt, it’s imperative to know a general idea of how much you’ll be able to borrow from lenders. Your mortgage will vary depending on factors such as credit score, income, how long you’ve been at your current employment and other debts you currently owe.
Related: Mortgage loan programs
3. Know Your Budget
Often, home purchases become emotional. You’re making a decision that will likely affect where you could be living for the next couple of decades, so, of course, you want to get everything just right. It’s essential, however, to be realistic. Make the home search easier on yourself by clarifying exactly what you can afford so you aren’t wasting your time looking for places over your budget. Your pragmatic research will get you into a house and help you begin building your equity sooner than later. There will be additional housing costs that you’ll want to remember to plan for such as insurance, HOA dues, and property taxes. Track your monthly income, expenses and make educated projections for how a mortgage will fit into your budget.
4. Identify Your Down Payment
It can take a chunk of cash to make the downpayment on a house. 20% of the home’s purchase price is often considered the industry norm. If you don’t have that kind of reserve on hand, no need to panic, there are other options available and loan programs offered for different credit levels.
Related: Read this before you put down 20%
It’s wise to have a general idea of where you want to live, and then to investigate it thoroughly. Get to know your preferred neighborhood as if you’re already an inhabitant. Visit it during different times and evaluate things like traffic, proximity to daily amenities and quality schools nearby. Chat with your potential neighbors and get their perspective on the area. These actions can give you a realistic, down-to-earth point of view on your sought-out region.
6. Go Local With Your Agent
Once you’ve found your most desired location to buy, find a trustworthy real estate agent that specializes in that area. It’s advisable to work with someone who you connect with on a personal level, who you feel understands what you’re looking for and has your best interest in mind. Find an agent who’s worked in your preferred location extensively and can share insights on things such as new developments, taxes and other issues that may affect the market value of the homes you’re browsing.
Home buying can appear mind-boggling at first. With a little patience, a bit of homework, and some investigation, you’ll soon be making sense of the whole process and finding yourself well on your way to your new house. If you have any questions, or you’re interested in discovering what mortgage you qualify for, contact us today, our specialists will be happy to help with any of your Bellevue, Kirkland, or greater Seattle mortgage needs.