Looking to simplify what first appears as an overwhelming task? The first thing to remember is that there are resources available to help you each step of the way:
Get a Certified Pre-Approval: This helps you understand how much you can afford before you actually start looking for a home. It also carries far more weight than a pre-qualification in the eyes of a seller and can help you effectively compete against a cash buyer.
Find a Real Estate Agent: Find a Buyer’s Agent or Realtor who covers the community in which you’re looking to purchase. (The term Realtor means they are real estate agents who subscribe to the code of ethics of the National Association of Realtors). An agent advertising a property or working at an open house is likely a “Listing Agent” and represents the seller. But a Buyer’s Agent works just for you, the buyer. You always want someone representing your unique interests in such an important transaction.
Start Looking for Homes: Once you’ve secured your Certified Pre-Approval and have a Realtor, start shopping in your budget range, either through your agent or the Internet. Decide on your priorities: number of bedrooms, bathrooms, preferred location, size of property and styles of home. Compare neighborhoods, school districts, value for money. Look at as many homes as you need to before making the decision to buy. A great local Realtor may also know about homes that aren’t even on the market yet.
There are programs that require as little as 3%-5% down and based on your overall credit profile, income and assets, you may be eligible. Some programs allow part of that amount to be gifted. Speak to a Mortgage Advisor to discuss your unique situation.
Yes. There are many products and programs available for limited credit profiles, especially for first-time home buyers. Naturally, every situation is different but once your Mortgage Advisor has reviewed your credit profile, they will help you determine what options will work best for you.