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Want to be a Homeowner in 2018?

I know firsthand how intense buying a home can be and I was STILL overwhelmed when I bought I became a homeowner. Sign this…provide proof of that…there is A LOT of paperwork! The best thing you can do to make sure there are no surprises during your home buying journey is to prepare yourself and do your homework. We have compiled a list of the top things you can do if you plan on buying a home in 2018 to make the process as smooth as possible.

1) Get Pre-Approved - One of the best ways to help in the home searching process is to know your price range. Finding a great lender to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan will let you know what homes to include in your search. A good lender is KEY to making the process go as smooth as possible once the purchase agreement is accepted!

2) Check your Credit - Once you start the home buying process, it is easy to feel like you are being examined under a magnifying glass. Well, your credit likely is…so now is not the best time to make any drastic changes to your credit, like making major purchases or opening new accounts. Wait until AFTER you close on your home to open up that West Elm credit card for your new couch. ;)

3) Make a List of ‘Must’s’ - Do you want to be within walking distance to the grocery store and your favorite places OR do you want to be in a quaint, quiet neighborhood? Knowing your ‘must have’ list helps focus your search. Make sure to consider factors such as neighborhood, schools, walk-ability, trails, etc. Remember, you can change just about anything in a home, but you will NEVER change your location. If that is important to you, then do not compromise on location.

4) Know the Full Cost - Besides the price tag there are a lot of other expenses that are part of buying a home. Make sure you have a pulse on how much additional money you will need to bring to the closing table. Which brings up another good tip - start saving early. Talk with your lender about what your ideal down payment is. Many lenders won’t require 20% down and you can easily buy a home with as little as 3% down. So it is important to have an idea of how much you might be required to pay and save now so you are ready to go when you find your dream home.

5) Choose the Right Realtor - Buying a home is a major life decision and you shouldn’t have to do it alone. Working with a realtor will help you through the process, from ensuring you are making the best investment to helping you though the details of the home buying process. Plus realtors will often times be the first to know when a new house is going to hit the market - giving you better chances of snagging your new home.

If you or someone you know is considering buying a home next year, I would love to meet and talk about how we can make that dream home a reality.

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