House for sale. COURTESY PHOTO BY CHERYL MAJOR

MAJOR’S REAL ESTATE TIPS: A Buyer’s Guide to Financing a Home

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Buying a home is a very exciting experience, but it can be frustrating, intimidating and extremely stressful. It’s hard to know where to begin – especially for the first-time home buyer. So much of your success depends on the strategies you will use in the current housing market condition and your knowledge of financing.

The house and lending markets are constantly changing environments you should understand before venturing into the fray. You’ll want to make the best transaction you can on your home and make some wise financing decisions as well; knowing the lending requirements and tax repercussions is important.

You need to know how to research the housing market, how to become pre-approved for a loan and how to know what price home you can afford. You also want information on how to find a mortgage lender, what the job of a lender consists of and the intricacies of closing the sale, and more.

Before trying to head into it blindly, you need help navigating the daunting journey of home buying. You will have more confidence moving forward if you become at ease with the process and avoid confusion by learning about the process in a step-by-step manner.

Research the Basics of Home Buying

Learning the basics of financing when it comes to real estate is like learning about a person before you marry them. The more you know, the better you can allay your fears and cut the confusion that often comes with a process you’re unfamiliar with.

You need to know how to negotiate to get the best price and terms on a house and what it takes to get a low-down-payment mortgage contract. If you don’t know how to improve your credit score, you should find out before beginning the home-buying process.

Lending standards change constantly and you need to get the latest information possible. Know what’s happening in the current marketplace, what the mortgage rates are and find out about new or changing lending laws before beginning the search for your new home.

To begin the home-buying process, read as many newspapers, magazines (with real estate listings) and pour over websites to get an idea of what types of homes interest you, how long they’ve been on the market and observe changes which occurred in the asking prices.

This will give you a good idea of trends, what’s available and for what prices. Pay attention to details when you’re checking out the market. Drive around a neighborhood you’re interested in to see if it really suits you and then price homes in that area.

Also, think about amenities you desire in a home. Will you be content with a deck or small patio rather than a spacious yard – and how do you feel about custom countertops and cabinetry compared to stock items?

When you think you’re ready, it’s time to take the next step involved in financing a home. Based on your research, this is where you’ll find out how much house you can afford and begin the paperwork so you can become pre-qualified and pre-approved for a loan.  We’ll delve into that next week.

In the meantime, if you’d like to receive email updates on pricing and availability on homes to start your research, just email me:  [email protected]

I’m happy to help you by arranging for you to get MLS updates that will allow you to research in real time which houses are coming on the market, which are selling, in how many days and for how much money.  It’s important information to have, and I’m offering it to you free and with no obligation.

Helping You Find a Home You Love!

Cheyl Major, Realtor

Cheryl Major lives in Westford and is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker. Follow Cheryl on Twitter @WestfordAreaRE and on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/WestfordAreaRealEstate/

Cheryl is a full time residential Realtor with more than 25 years experience.

Questions?  Email Cheryl at [email protected] and be sure to put Real Estate Question in the subject line.  Your question and its answer will be included in a future article or will be responded to directly.