This is by far step one in the buying process. Yes, you do need one, unless you have the cash. (Even if you have cash, the real estate agents will ask for proof of that, just the same as we ask proof of the pre-approval).
A pre-approval is free and doesn’t take long at all to know what you can afford to buy. Don’t assume because you make a certain amount of money you can buy a house. There are many factors that affect affordability. Mortgage rules change all the time so get that preapproval done by a trusted mortgage representative. I have a preferred list of mortgage representatives that are available to you.
Location, location, location
Figuring out where you would like your home to be is clearly a very important decision to make. Try to narrow down your search location as best you can. This will make the process much easier. Whether you’re local and familiar with the area you’re buying in or not, I will still research it as much as I can to make sure it’s the right fit for you as per your needs.
The Down Payment
This depends on what you’re buying. If you’re a first time buyer looking for your first cute little house, you’ll probably only need 5% down payment. If you’re buying an investment property, you’ll need at least 20% down. Buying a major fixer upper? Well, that might require more. The mortgage company will tell us.
Going it alone or not?
Are you buying on your own or with someone else? Are you a married couple or investing with a partner? There are different kinds of ownership as well. Know what they are before you get into a contract with someone else. Again, this is why you need a trusted advisor on your side to help navigate your purchase.
Ask lots of questions
I personally LOVE when my buyers have a ton of questions. Everyone always apologizes for asking questions but you’ll never know if you don’t ask. It tells me they’re serious and want to be involved in the process. This is a wonderful thing for all. One question always leads to more information. I proactively give you as much as I can and your questions only make the whole process smoother.
Fees - It’s more than a mortgage payment
When buying a property, you much consider more than just what the mortgage payment will be. There will be utilities, property taxes, maintenance, insurance…just to name a few.
When you are actually in the buying process, you will be responsible to obtain a lawyer and pay their fee. I can recommend lawyers for you. The buyer also is responsible for paying the government land transfer tax. This is calculated by percentage, based on the purchase price of the home.