As we all know, planning a wedding can take a ton of work! There’s a lot to iron out and so many questions to be answered such as what colors you’ll have, where you’ll get married, what kind of food you’ll have, the list goes on and on. For some couples, getting married may mean another big purchase: buying a house! So many couples get engaged when they are still renting, either together or separate, and by the time they are married, they may be ready to own. We talked to local Licensed Realtors, Margie Jenkins and Nick Jenkins with Skogman Realty to get their top tips when it comes to purchasing your first home together!
Tip #1: All banks are not created equal
It’s important to shop around and ask a lot of questions. A good place to start is with a bank that you already have a relationship with but not all banks offer the same products. Some banks offer 100% financing while others may have first-time buyer grants to help with your down payment. If you’re not sure what to say or where to start, you can talk to your realtor for more information or even have them talk to lenders for you.
Tip #2: Don’t surrender to bad credit
If you found a lender you want to work with but it turns out that you don’t qualify for the amount of loan that you hoped you would – this can be discouraging but it’s not the end of the road. If you want to know how you can build it back up from an unfortunate ‘ding’, the good news is: there are people who can help! There are credit restoration companies that can help you with your credit score. They can put together strategies for building up your credit score, so stay positive! You’ll get there!
Tip #3: Keep your money where it is
Say you’ve got a good credit score, you’re already approved for a mortgage, and you’ve worked with a realtor to find your “dream home! What’s next? Something you don’t need to ask a credit expert for, focus on one big purchase at a time! Some of the worst news for a realtor to hear after they’ve been working tirelessly to help a buyer cross that finish line is that the buyer is no longer approved because they are making other large purchases at the same time, like buying a new car or all new appliances for that dream home! That’s probably the last thing a realtor and lender would want to hear. “So, keep your money where it is! Once the ink is dry, treat yourself! Until then, hoard those pennies like it’s 1929!” This is a big one to keep in mind if you’re planning your wedding at the same time! Weddings can be costly, so make sure you’re planning your big purchases carefully to avoid issues.
Tip #4: Don’t pay closing costs if you don’t have to
Some lenders may offer 100% financing but every lender requires closing costs. You may be wondering what closing costs are. These are the costs of processing the mortgage papers and typically range from around $1,500-$3,000. However, with the right offer, your realtor may be able to negotiate the closing costs into the deal! Asking the seller to credit the buyer for closing costs is common and a great way to avoid paying the fees out of pocket!
Tip #5: Timing matters
You can choose your closing date! Your first mortgage payment won’t be until the first day of the second month after you close. This means choosing a closing date near the beginning of the month will help to delay your first payment. For example, “closing on November 4th means that your first payment won’t be until January 1st. This might help free up some cash for a buyer who is on a budget or who is waiting for the next big paycheck. Why not live in your new house for a month without a payment?!”
Tip #6: How to avoid costly mistakes
When a buyer gets pre-approved and is ready to start looking for a home, they often get stuck not knowing what the next step is. This may come as a surprise, but there are people out there who will help you for FREE! Some people may not know that working with a licensed realtor is actually free to the buyer! This is because realtors make money from helping to sell listing agents’ properties. Some buyers may think that working with the listing agent will get them a better deal, but that’s not always the case. “There are a few costly mistakes buyers can make along the way, whether it’s not knowing the market, buying a ‘lemon,’ missing some crucial paperwork, or simply not having time to keep a constant eye on the deal at hand. Teaming up with the right realtor is a great way to avoid these and other costly mistakes. Having an expert on your side can save you a lot of time, money and worry!” Another way to avoid making pricey mistakes is to make sure you’re getting the right inspections done! Your realtor can work with inspectors and will have a list of people and businesses to refer you to if there is any work or repairs that need to be done.
This is some really great advice for home buyers and especially newlywed homebuyers! You’re already doing enough work while planning your wedding. Make sure if buying a house is on your list of things to do, that you aren’t getting surprised by anything by following these tips!
Margie Jenkins has been helping clients make the right move since 2003. With years of experience putting buyers and sellers together, she knows how to get results! And no one will work harder for you than she will. High energy, innovative marketing ideas, passionate attention to detail, and determination to bring a new level of excellence in real estate service to her clients. Whether you’d like to sell your home or want to find your dream home, teaming with Margie Jenkins is The Right Move!
To connect with Margie & Nick visit: www.margiejenkinsrealtor.com