Your mortgage is probably the biggest payment you have in your monthly budget. It’s not uncommon considering the fact that your home is probably the most expensive item you own. It’s nothing to be ashamed of; buying a home is the American Dream (even if it seems like the American Dream is quickly changing into “No student loan debt and world peace). It’s a big investment. It’s not one you make often. It’s not something you decide to do lightly. Buying a home is expensive, and it is stressful. However, there are a few things that you are doing that are making the job even more difficult – on both yourself and your real estate agent.
You see, your mortgage is the most expensive item you have in the budget. It only makes sense that you would want to have the perfect house, the perfect location, and everything you want. But you have to make some concessions from time to time, and you must also make the decision to go about your home buying process the smart way. Let’s discuss how you can do that – by not making the process more difficult.
Pre-Qualify for A Mortgage
The most important thing you can do for yourself and your agent is to apply for a mortgage before you start looking for a home. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this is far more peaceful news than finding out that you’ve won a bidding war on your dream home only so the bank can tell you that you don’t qualify for the kind of rate you want, the amount you want or that there is something wrong with your credit report.
It’s a very simple process to go into the bank and pre-qualify for a mortgage. In fact, it doesn’t even take that long. You can know by the end of the day if you go in right now and ask them to handle the issue for you. When you have the pre-qualification in hand, you’re far more likely to win a bidding war, to get the home you want and to find an agent who will work with you. Did you know, too, that many sellers won’t even entertain an offer from a buyer without a pre-qualification?
Be Upfront about What You Want
If you tell your real estate agent that you want a house in a certain neighborhood, tell her what kind of house. If you tell her you want a house with five bedrooms, four bathrooms and three stalls in the garage, tell her; and don’t forget to tell her that you want a pool or to be in a certain neighborhood. She doesn’t want to do a ton of research for you only so that you can say to her, “Oh, no…we don’t like that neighborhood and don’t want a house there. Find another.” Be upfront with your wants and needs.
Additionally, if you want to make an offer and you want to negotiate the price, let your agent know now. Don’t wait until your seller has accepted your offer and you’re a week shy of closing to tell the agent you want the sellers to pay the closing costs, too. You need to be upfront about every single thing you want from the minute you begin your search.
Listen, we all have wants and needs and desires. We do; I know this as I, too, am a human. However, sometimes you have to be reasonable. You don’t typically get every single thing you want in a home if you don’t have an unlimited budget. It’s very rare, so you need to be flexible and reasonable. When my husband and I had our twins in 2014, we bought a new piece of property and began building another house. We simply could not find a house with enough bedrooms for our family of six, enough bathrooms for a family with four females, a house in the neighborhood we wanted in the country style we wanted, with the back deck we wanted, with the corner lot we would have loved and with the kind of square footage we wanted.
We didn’t want to build again, but we really didn’t have a choice. That’s when we got so fortunate and our dream home with every single thing we ever wanted dropped from over $300,000 to right at $200,000. It’s a foreclosure, but it’s everything we wanted to an exact tee. We got lucky – but we still had to redo the counters, the cabinets, the floors and clear the property. You have to be reasonable or you will never find what you want.
There are so many things that buyers do that make the buying process more difficult than it needs to be. Rest assured that if you pre-qualify for a mortgage, you know what you want, you are upfront about your intentions and you are willing to make a small sacrifice here and there, you will be far happier.
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