Be an Educated Home Buyer
Remember, Knowledge is Power!
As a home maybe your largest purchase, I recommend you do your homework, learn as much as you can about the processes and what to expect. Don't go it alone; choose a Realtor that provides valuable information, has good communication and will be there for you.
Step 1: Ask yourself "Is now the right time for me?"
If you think you might be ready for your own home, begin by looking at how much you think you can afford to pay toward a monthly mortgage payment.
Review and compare the cost / benefit relationship between Renting vs Buying.
Understand that there are additional costs associated with homeownership such as home and yard maintenance and repairs, however there are also tax advantages that can offset these costs.
Please review the Mortgage & Escrow information page to help you understand everything that comprises a monthly mortgage payment.
Use this mortgage calculator to help you decide how much home you can afford.
Step 2: Understand What Lenders Want
Below are the first two things that any financial institution will review in determining if you qualify for a loan.
- Your Debt to Income Ratio (DTI) – this will be used to determine how much the lender feels you can afford to pay toward a mortgage each month and still meet your other financial obligations. (your ability to repay). Click Here to Review detailed information about DTI
- Your Credit rating and history – this will be used to determine the lenders risk in loaning you the money for the home. (your likelihood to repay). There are three separate credit bureaus that rate your credit, all three will be taken into consideration.
Step 3: Know Your Market
The current DFW Market Area is in a
Seller’s Market – this means that there are more buyers looking for homes than there are homes available for sale; this is also referred to as a shortage of inventory. This market condition is favorable to the seller as they may be able to sell their home for above asking price and sometimes above appraised value is the buyer is willing to bring additional cash to the closing table.
Within the sales price range of $100,000 to $400,000 sellers will often find themselves with multiple offers, with buyers competing for the opportunity to purchase the home.
(Please note, that there are other factors that will impact this, such as pricing, location and condition of the property).
Buyer’s Market - this means that there are more homes for sale than buyers looking for a home; this is also referred to as a surplus of inventory. This market condition is more favorable to buyers as they can have their choice of homes, often having more room to negotiate a sales price below the seller’s asking price.
Step 4: Get a Realtor
Learn more about Realtor services, as a buyer a Realtors services may be FREE to you.
Click Here to learn more about Realtor Services and why all buyers should have one.
Step 5: Get a Pre-Qualification Letter
Before you start going out viewing homes, you will need to get a pre-qualification letter or a pre-approval letter from a lender. Due to the current DFW market conditions, many of the homes for sale may be in a multiple offer situation. If you find a home that you want to submit an offer on without including this letter, most sellers with automatically dismiss your offer and choose an offer from a buyer that can show they are more serious.
Step 6: Contact a Lender
Ask your Realtor which local lender they recommend to help you with your specific needs.
A lender will provide you with additional details on Financing Options available to you along with possible Grants and Assistance Programs.
Step 7: Find Your Home
Your Realtor can make this step easier for you. Realtors have access to the central MLS system where the properties are listed for sale. Other websites such as Realtor.com and Zillow (to name a couple) rely on pulling their information from the MLS system but are only as accurate as their updates. The result is they can have delays getting new listings and often contain out dated information, listing properties that are no longer available. Your Realtor can setup an automated search directly from MLS so you get the most up-to-date information.