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There is no denying that the ongoing pandemic has changed pretty much every facet of life. However, having to switch things up a bit should not mean putting things, like your dream of homeownership on hold.
For many people, owning a home is their dream. In fact, for most, homeownership is a sign that we are on the right track in life. Yet, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the entire country and has left many people wondering if they can still afford to own a home. The truth is, just like every other industry, the residential home market had to learn to adjust to the new normal. So, while COVID may have caused you to put certain things on hold, there are steps that everyone can take to keep the dream of owning a home alive.
The first step that you should complete if you would like to own a home is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. The pre-approval process will give you a firm idea of what you can afford. Clearly, this process is similar to pre-qualification. However, being pre-approved carries more weight with sellers because your information has been verified by a lender. That said, you will need proof of income, proof of assets, fairly decent credit, and employer verification. This is not an exhaustive list as your lender may also require other pertinent documentation.
As briefly mentioned, when you do make an offer, sellers will know that you are serious about buying the home because you have already been pre-approved. So, if you have not reached out to a lender already, then now is the time to start the home buying process, i.e., contact a lender and get pre-approved for a mortgage. Once you have been pre-approved, then you can start to narrow your search and find homes that are within your price range.
Thanks to your pre-approval, you should have a better understanding of what you can afford or how much financing is available to you. Nevertheless, it is still highly recommended that you work within your budget. As obvious as it sounds, in order to keep the dream of owning a home alive, you need to be able to afford said home. But, then again, if you work with a qualified professional, he or she might be able to help you negotiate with the seller. Overall, the goal here is just to be realistic; if you cannot afford that mansion in the hills just yet, that is fine. Right now, there are contemporary homes on the market for just about every budget. Moreover, there are several things you can do in the meantime to possibly increase your budget.
When you have narrowed your search and found a few homes that pique your interest, connect with a top agent virtually. Of course, most people are used to going to home showings in person; however, there are ways to house hunt from the comfort and safety of your laptop or smartphone. Plus, a trusted agent is going to have access to all of the listings in the local area and can help you understand what the process is regarding buying a home. You can connect with an agent either by phone or by video to learn what it is like to navigate the real estate market. While today’s market might be different from past markets, there are still opportunities to get a great deal on a home, especially with the help and expertise of a top agent.
Buying a home is one of the most important ways to stimulate the economy. As a result, there are lots of options that have been put in place to help people buy homes in a responsible manner. This could include loan programs and loan options that do not require a large down payment. Think about it, with the right assistance, you may be able to afford your dream home without having to necessarily put down 20 percent. You may even qualify for such a loan right now, but you will not know if you do not take the time to check out all the options. That said, your lender and loan officer should be able to help you find the right program or option; it is just in your best interest to know what all the available choices are ahead of time.
While the climate might be a bit different right now, this does not mean that people have to put their dreams of owning a home on hold. In fact, now is a great time to start actualizing your homeownership goals. Ultimately, home purchases are possible, no matter what is going on in the world. And, by following the above mentioned tips, there is no reason you should not be able to, at least, get the ball rolling. So, do not let COVID-19 dash your dreams and future goals; remember, as long as you do your due diligence, finding the home that is right for you and your family will happen soon enough.
Are you curious about mortgages, or are you ready to apply for one to buy a home? If so, Sammamish Mortgage can help. We are a local mortgage company from Bellevue, Washington, serving the entire state, as well as Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado. We offer many mortgage programs to buyers all over the Pacific Northwest and have been doing so since 1992. Contact us today with any questions you have about mortgages.
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