The Do's and Don'ts of Home Buying
Few first-time homebuyers are ever taught how to buy a home. Many people learn by trial and error, but any mistake in home-buying could be expensive so it’s much better to understand the process and what to do and not to do. Learn and understand what to expect from application to closing and receiving your keys.
Consider these essential home-buying tips as you begin your search throughout southern Wisconsin or northern Illinois for a lender, a real estate agent and the perfect home.
What to Do
- Know your credit score: Having a general idea of your FICO score (it changes constantly, so do not get hung up on 720 versus 740) helps you know what interest rate and loan program you could tap.
- Shop for a quality, local bank: Comparison shop for banks, going beyond the numbers to find a financial institution you feel comfortable doing business with for years to come.
- Get pre-qualified for a mortgage: Our Pre-qualifications go beyond the quick credit pull, we have our clients provide income and asset information to assure sellers that they have a qualified buyer.
- Know loan programs: Know the difference between your USDA home loan application and your VA home loan application, and ask your banker about other offers you may be unaware of.
- Shop for a real estate agent: The search could take months, so make certain you get along with an agent who understands your needs.
- Get a home inspection: The hundreds you pay could save you thousands in surprise repair costs later.
- Buy the least expensive home in the nicest neighborhood: Avoid getting talked into too much house or in keeping up with perceived competition.
What Not to Do
- Change jobs: When hoping to secure a mortgage and nab that first home, keep the same job to show your stable, predictable character.
- Smack the plastic: Avoid unsecured (credit card) debt and resist making large purchases that will ding your credit score.
- Jump at a “good buy”: A busy street, a lot adjoining commercial property or many homes for sale in the same block all send “don’t buy” signals if you are attentive.
- Overlook negotiation angles: In a home sale, nearly everything is negotiable, from price to needed repairs to move-in and move-out dates.
- Leap at a lovely home: Comparison shop for the home just as you comparison-shopped the mortgage.
- Ignore essentials while falling for luxuries: Separate your needs (good school, close to work, near a park, easy entry, large kitchen) from your wish list (whirlpool tub, granite countertops, multiple fireplaces).
When you are ready to begin your first home-buying odyssey, contact us at Blackhawk Bank.
We are so confident in our mortgage process, once we approve your loan we guarantee you will close – or we will pay you $1,000.