We serve a myriad of different types of customers. Some are first time home buyers looking for a fixxer upper, others are established investors looking for the next business opporunity but one thing is certain: everybody has a different level of understanding when it comes to the basic question “how to buy a house?”. Thats why we set up our Mortgage and Real Estate 101 series to explain the basics of how to buy a house. Although we focus on helping people in Grand Rapids and Michigan understanding how to buy a house the advice we put forth is general advice and can be taken with a grain of salt by anyone looking for home advice in the US.
The Top 5 Tips for How To Buy A House in Grand Rapids and Abroad!
1. Choose a local Realtor and a local mortgage company to work with.
2. Pre Qualification— Get all of your information together and give it to your lender, he will then tell you what types of loans, and how much money you will qualify to borrow. This in turn you can pass on to your realtor. Many realtors will not work with buyers who are not pre-qualified.
3. Factors to Consider— Not all houses (even ones that look the same) are created equal consider these issues when you are buying a house in Grand Rapids or abroad. What’s the neighborhood like? Are there good schools nearby? Are there home owner’s association fees? Are there high ways close by? Does this city have high taxes? What other offerings does the city have? Will the yard require alot of maintenance? This is all stuff that your realtor can help you determine.
4. Keep Time in Your Mind– Timing is everything in the home buying process, depending on the type of home you are buying (short sale, foreclosure, normal sale, fsbo) it could take 1 month or 6 to close on your home. Time can be money and make sure you start looking early enough so that you dont end up homeless in between your apartment lease ending and a real estate transaction that you cant hurry up. Check in frequently with your realtor and loan officer and get documents to necessary parties as quickly as possible.
5. Closing and Other Tips– Remember when you show up to close you need a Cashier’s check for your downpayment and fees, not a personal check. You should expect to spend 45minutes signing various papers and going over documents. Once you have the keys to your new home the process isnt over. In fact you now need to figure things out like when the garbage is collected, switching your utility bills over to your name, etc. You will also need furniture so make sure to allocate enough money in your budget for furniture.