You’ve decided it’s time – time to buy a home. But how do you get started? What will this process look like? How do you know you’re ready?
While the path to buying a home will look slightly different for every individual, there are some basics you should know as you get started.
DECIDING TO BUY
Whether you are active duty military or preparing to transition to post-military life, home ownership is a big step! Military service demands flexibility that can feel incompatible with the implied permanence of buying. Buying a home as you transition off of active duty can make this change feel even more monumental.
The good news? Buying your next home can offer both financial incentives and much-appreciated stability. Minimizing the more stressful aspects of home ownership is rooted in making sure that you are ready to make the investment.
CHOOSE YOUR REALTOR
Essential to forming a productive relationship with a realtor is establishing that they are looking out for your interests. Professional realtors know the ins and outs of their area and can help you to match your wants and needs with the different neighborhoods around your installation. While it is possible to work through the Seller’s Agent that a home may be listed through, that realtor is working in the seller’s interest as opposed to yours. Having someone dedicated to ensuring you make the best possible investment safeguards you through the home buying process.
After careful consideration, you’ve decided the time is right to buy! The first step is to ensure your credit report is accurate by pulling your credit report from the 3 major reporting bureaus and addressing any negative reports. Pull together all of your financial information before initiating the loan process. You want to gather your two most recent W2s and 1099s and your two most recent paycheck stubs covering a 30 day period.
An experienced loan officer guides you through the loan process and can provide you with a qualifying loan amount. Planning on using your VA Home Loan benefit? There are some extra steps like obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility for VA Loan. Working with a loan officer fluent in the VA Loan process goes a long way towards heading off issues with the loan process. A pre-approval letter is issued by your VA Lender stating that you have applied for a VA mortgage and that your income, credit, and assets have been reviewed and approved.
YOUR HOME SEARCH
Your realtor is a powerful ally in the home search process. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need now or will you need in the future? Are you hoping for particular school district? The choices can be overwhelming. Establishing a guideline for your minimum needs and prioritizing the things you want will help you to focus in on the homes that are the best fit for you.
With the input of your realtor, consider your options in the market along with your mortgage amount and budgeted payment, current needs, and long-term goals. Ready to start your search?
If you took the time to get organized and arrange your pre-approval in advance, this step should be relatively simple. Work with your realtor and loan officer to line up your funding so you are ready to make an offer!
SUBMIT AN OFFER
Your real estate agent will guide you to the appropriate amount for your initial offer. Remember to keep your offer and any negotiations in writing to make sure the terms of the agreement are clearly understood.
The mortgage process takes between 45 to 60 days from the time of application to closing. This waiting may be the hardest part! The lender’s process and any qualifying issues could influence how fast things move. An attorney, real estate agent, or title company negotiate and draft the contract – a legally binding contract between the buyer and seller outlining the terms of the transaction. Once closing is completed – the keys are yours!
If you are ready to get started with finding your dream home in the greater Kansas City/Fort Leavenworth area, we are ready to help! Contact us today to start your search.