Buying a home can be a daunting task, but following a few easy steps can help to simplify and streamline the process. Likewise, working with our team at Appleton Properties will help make everything as quick and painless as possible.
The first step – before you even consider looking at properties – is to make sure your financial house is in order.
Many people do not check their credit score on a regular basis. If this is something that describes you, make sure you pull your credit reports and make sure there are no surprises that a mortgage broker might uncover. You can get a free credit report from the 3 major credit bureaus each year, so there is no excuse to not know what your credit score is.
Figure out exactly what you can and should afford.
Set an ideal limit and an absolute maximum for your target home price. The Washington, D.C. metro area is filled with affluent neighborhoods, and with demand exceeding supply, residential real estate here tends to have prices in the higher end of the range.
Typically, experts recommend looking at homes that are worth 2.5 times your annual salary. While this does not apply to every family, it is a good rule of thumb and can give you a place to start when you are trying to figure out how much home your family can afford.
Once you settle on a price, try to make sure you have saved at least 20% of the home’s value saved up for a down payment in order to qualify for the best mortgage rates.
You will need plenty of cash on hand to cover closing costs and other miscellaneous fees, so it is better to err on the side of caution and save up as much as possible. Also keep in mind that the expenses are not over once you close on the house – there will still be moving costs and possibly renovation costs if your new home needs to be updated before it is move-in ready.
Once you have your credit score in line and your savings account topped off, it is time to apply for a mortgage.
Try not to settle for the first offer you receive – shop around with different banks and lenders to ensure that you get the best possible rate on your home loan. Even a tiny decrease in the mortgage rate can mean big savings over the life of the loan. We are happy to refer you to one of our many trusted lenders and once you have your pre-approval in hand, it is time to start really looking for a house.
Our team at Appleton Properties would be honored to help you find your family’s next home.
We have extensive experience in the D.C. metro area, so we are in a great position to offer you advice on the different neighborhoods and the types of properties that can be found in each. Choosing a neighborhood is just as important as choosing a house, so do not rush through this step.
When you have found the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood, it will be time to make an offer.
Crafting a solid offer is both an art and a science. With a comparative market analysis, we will help you determine whether or not the home is priced right. Other factors to consider include how long the property has been on the market, what the current market conditions are, and what the seller’s motivation for selling is.
We’ll go through everything carefully with you and help you position your offer so it’s the most attractive one on the table.