So the time has come... you are sick of tossing your money out of the window MONTH after MONTH to a landlord. It is time to find your dream home. So where to start ?
Step 1: Get Your Team Together
Buying a home may be the biggest investment you ever make — so it pays to call in the experts. You’ll need a Realtor and a loan officer.
A Realtor will represent you and your interests during the home-buying transaction yet their commissions are generally paid by the seller, so as the buyer, these essential services are free. So find someone you can relate to and who sincerely wants to help you.
Once you find a Realtor (and you will, Location agents are a likeable lot and they’re the best in the business), the next step is finding a loan officer.
Step 2: Get Prequalified
There are a few steps in buying a home that are critically important, and one of those is that your first stop — before getting into a car to look at property — is the lending office.
You can even talk to the loan officer on the phone, although it’s nice to do it in person and talk a little story — get to know each other.
Once you’ve found a lender you like and trust, the next step is to talk numbers. The loan officer will ask you a series of questions about your income and your expenses to determine how much house you can afford.
If you start looking at homes that cost $850,000 when what you really can afford is a townhome for $350,000, you’re just wasting your time. Do it right, get pre-qualified first. The goal is to find out how much you are qualified to borrow.
Skipping this step is setting your self up for disappointment. Remember, at this point you only want to get an idea of your borrowing power and you are not making any commitments to borrow from any particular lender. Shopping for the very best loan terms will happen later on in the process.
Step 3: Clean Up Your Credit Report
Part of getting prequalified will include a check of your credit score. If your score comes in low, you won’t qualify for the best interest rates. The loan officer will advise you on what you can do to improve your score.
Step 4: Gather All Your Financial Documents
In some cases, you might be able to prequalify for a loan without all of these documents, but it’s best to have them handy.
Typically, what you will ultimately need to provide the loan officer is your most recent 2 years of tax returns, 2 months of bank statements, and 3 months of pay stubs. If these items are not immediately available, now is a good time to start gathering them.
Step 5: Start Your Search Online
You’re in the right place. LocationsHawaii.com is the most comprehensive real estate website, offering not only the all the “active” listings around the island and in the state, but “solds” and “pending properties” as well.
With all the listings at your fingertips, you can take the dollar amount the loan officer gave you and view a list of everything on the Island at or below that price. You might be surprised at all you have to pick from.
(Source:locationhawaii.com)Go to page 1