Real estate investment is one of the most significant financial moves a person can make in their lifetime, so taking your time and finding the right property at the right time is a must. Financing is always top propriety, and fortunately, if you’re a veteran, your service to our country positions you to take advantage of special programs that can make the home-buying process easier. Mortgages of America can help you find the loan product that meets your unique needs. You should also use the tips and resources in this article when you’re searching for that perfect home.
Before you start looking at homes or considering financing options, it’s important that your personal finances are in good shape. You can get a free copy of your credit report from the Federal Trade Commission. Check your credit score and report any inaccuracies to the three main credit reporting agencies. You’ll also want to pay down your debt so that you have a healthy debt-to-income ratio, and so your credit utilization is below 30 percent. In other words, if you have a credit card with a $1,000 limit, try to carry a balance of no more than $299. While there are some loans that require a low down payment, you’re likely to incur some costs associated with home buying. Having cash set aside will also be an important part of the qualification process.
Consider Your Loan Options
A reputable mortgage lender can help you compare various mortgage options. There are numerous products on the market, so it’s important to know the pros and cons of each, as well as to identify and potentially take advantage of military or veterans options that are available to you. For example, you may opt for a 15- or 30-year mortgage; the shorter the mortgage, the less you ultimately pay in interest. Once you make a decision and qualify for financing, a lender can issue you a letter of pre-approval, so prospective sellers know you have your financing secured.
When To Buy?
Real estate markets are always in a state of flux, and sometimes a hot market in one geographic location will be significantly slower in another. Ideally, you want to buy during a “buyer’s market,” when inventory, or the number of homes for sale, is high. Sellers will be much more likely to negotiate the sale price, and you’ll have more options to choose from. According to Realtor.com, different times of year can also be more beneficial, from a buyer’s perspective. For example, families often want to be settled before a school year starts, so summer months are typically competitive; holiday and winter months, especially in colder climates, are slower and can represent a great opportunity for a buyer to get a good deal. Your Realtor can help you assess market conditions in your area. Getting a feel for prices in your area is also a smart initial step so you have an idea of what types of properties fall in line with your budget.
Finding Your Home
When you start looking at houses, keep a list of “must-haves” that are important to you. Consider school districts, appreciation value, and the neighborhood itself. Do you want to be close to highway access or public transportation? Do you prefer a single- or two-story home? How many beds and baths do you need? Once you narrow the focus, start touring homes; you may see them online or have a real estate agent take you in person. Once you find one you like and decide to make an offer, your agent will draw up the paperwork, and if your offer is accepted, you’ll put down an earnest money deposit and begin the closing, or finalization process. This usually includes a home appraisal and inspection, and finishing your loan paperwork. An estimated closing and move-in date will be set, and you’ll be on your way to your new home!
The home-buying process can be quite involved and often overwhelming, but preparing in advance and utilizing professional resources can help ensure the process is a smooth one. Mortgages of America specializes in helping veterans find the best home financing options. Reach out today for more information.