It’s a major life achievement to buy a home. You dream about it for so long and work so hard until the big day finally arrives. It’s so exciting.
My husband, Keith, and I recently purchased a new home. While it was exciting, there were many challenges along the way we were not prepared for. We thought that we were equipped with the information and tools that we needed — but, boy, were we in for a big surprise.
Know Your Listing Agent
This is one of the most important criteria when purchasing a home. All realtors are not created equal. Find a listing agent that will meet your family’s needs and will work for you. This person should be your advocate and supporter along your journey. Our real estate agent was fantastic and let us know about every detail of the buying process.
It is also important to note that there is going to be a lot of frustration in the home-buying process. Oh, and did I mention tears? During our adventure, we put offers in on several houses and got shot down. Be prepared for an emotional roller-coaster and loss along the way, and choose a realtor that will be there to pick you up and keep you going.
Select a Trusted Lender
Make sure that you do your homework if you are securing a loan for your home. Don’t think that you need to go through a national lender to get the best deal. In doing our research, we found that the best deal was actually working with a local lending agent who would save us a lot of time and money while also making the process much easier. They dealt with larger banks and had the contacts, negotiating power and process in place to get us a lower rate and ideal program. It was better than us approaching the banks ourselves through their retail channels.
As you go through the process, you’ll want someone local who will take your calls and respond to your emails in a rapid fashion. When you’re buying a house, time is of the essence in making an offer. We discovered that working with the retail side of the large banks is often bureaucratic. You won’t have a direct contact and your mortgage process is basically handled by a call center. This makes turnaround times quite lengthy, and you feel like you’re starting over every time you call. You also need rapid responses when putting offer letters together, and local lenders can have updated and edited approval letters usually in minutes.
Try asking your realtor/agent for local lending agencies. Good realtors will usually have two or three go-to people in their arsenal.
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Hire a Trustworthy Moving Company
Moving expenses will quickly take up a big chunk of your budget. One of the ways that we maximized our budget was to hire a local trustworthy moving company instead of one of the pricey national chains. This saved us hundreds of dollars, and the movers had all of our items moved within several hours.
Also, check to see if there are coupons or money-saving offers for local movers in your area. Every little bit helps.
Read More: A Moving Broker Scammed Me Out of $900
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