Experts say October is often the best time of the year to purchase a home. While homebuying is an exciting process, it can also be stressful and overwhelming. Here with Five Ways to Make the Homebuying Process Easier is Rich Allensworth, Loan Officer at Rock Mortgage.
Families have a lot to juggle. Most of us are looking for ways to save time and make things run more smoothly. What advice would you give potential homebuyers to make the process a little easier on themselves?
● It’s important to set clear goals for the homebuying process. For example, go into the conversation with your lender with an idea of what you can afford. Only you can decide how much you are comfortable paying for your housing each month.
● Keep in mind your whole financial picture and your own financial goals.
● Don’t forget that interest, taxes, and insurance will factor in — your lender will help you with that.
● You should also consider other costs of homeownership such as appliances, repairs, and maintenance, as those expenses will also affect your ability to make monthly mortgage loan payments.
You’re saying to have clear financial goals in place whenever you start the conversation with your lender. What else can homebuyers consider ahead of time in order to streamline the process?
● It boils down to knowing what you want before you start shopping. That is so important if you want to save time and, ultimately, be satisfied with your purchase.
● Write down all the things you want out of a home — your must-haves, in addition to goals and dreams. You might ask your spouse, loved ones or friends for input.
● You can bring this list to your agent, and he or she can go over the list with you while keeping your budget in mind. Your agent can help you clarify what things are the most important to you. For example: What’s more important—a bigger home with a larger mortgage or more financial flexibility.
● Then, he or she can direct you toward areas that will work with your budget and your lifestyle needs.
You’ve given us two ways so far to make the homebuying process easier here and they both involve setting clear goals. No. 1: knowing what you can afford and No. 2: articulate everything you want out of a home to your agent. There seems to be a theme developing. What else?
● Yes. Like many things in life, the more you plan ahead, the more smoothly and quickly the process will go.
● Along those lines, the third tip I would give is for you to get prequalified for your home loan.
● Right now, the market requires you to act fast. Getting prequalified will save you from getting your heart set on a house, only to miss out because the process is delayed.
● You should also try to avoid any huge purchases or moving your money around three to six months before buying a new home. Lenders need to see that you’re reliable and they want a complete paper trail so that they can get you the best loan possible.
● If you open new credit cards, amass too much debt or buy a lot of big-ticket items, you’re going to have a hard time getting a loan or it could slow things down. If you have something you know is coming up, discuss it with your lender.
You’ve given us two additional tips there. One is getting prequalified and the other is to keep your money where it is once you’ve started the homebuying process. What’s the number five tip for making the homebuying process smoother?
● Sure — and these are in no particular order, but I’d say this last one is most important. My last tip is to pick your team carefully. The thing that’s going to make the biggest difference in the homebuying experience is who you are working with. You need a trusted lender who you feel comfortable with, and you also need a great real estate agent who knows the area well.
● When you have the right team, the process will be smoother and faster.
● If you are looking for a lender, I and my colleagues at Rock Mortgage are always happy to help.
How can viewers reach out to you if they’re interested in beginning the homebuying process?
- We have offices in Bentonville and Fayetteville, and our loan officers are eager to walk you through the process of refinancing or answer any questions you may have about homeownership.
- For more information, visit www.rockmortgagelending.com or call 479.321.3355.