Whether you are a first time Homebuyers or an experienced homeowner, buying a new home can be stressful. Before you start packing, here is a handy checklist of 5 things you can do up front to make the process a lot easier.

1. Prepare a budget.

You need a clear picture of your family’s finances before you even think about calling me or applying for a mortgage. List all your monthly fixed expenses, such as car payments, current rent or mortgage, utilities, school tuition, and loan payments. Add categories for other expenses such as food and entertainment.

Checklist for Homebuyers: Making the Right Move

2. Contact a Mortgage Lender and Get pre-approved.

Step 1 is important because you want to get pre-approved for a loan before you start shopping. This is an important safeguard, to keep you from falling in love with something you cannot get a lender to approve. This is not always about what dollar amount a lender is willing to loan you, but what payments you want to make monthly for the mortgage loan, including taxes and insurance.

Be sure you understand the Mortgage Pre-Approval – Don’t Overlook The Importance. Getting pre-qualified means that you give a lender your overall financial picture, including your debt, income and assets. The lender evaluates this information and gives you a ballpark figure of the mortgage amount for which you could qualify. Pre-qualification can be done over the phone or on the Internet, usually at no cost. Pre-approved, on the other hand, means that a lender evaluates your debt ratios, your credit report, and your overall ability to repay a loan and says, “Yes, I would loan this buyer X number of dollars to buy a home.”

3. Make a homebuyers list.

Before you begin working with a me, you need to make a two-column list of needs vs. wants. Be sure you know the difference! Needing three bedrooms verses wanting a swimming pool can make a big difference in the selection process. You need to be very upfront with me about exactly what constitutes a deal-breaker in your purchasing process. If more than one person is involved in making the final decision, be sure that you are more or less in agreement about needs and wants. If one spouse wants a short commute and the other has visions of a country estate, you could have a problem. Resolve these issues ahead of time.

Checklist for Homebuyers: Making the Right Move

4. CALL ME, RONDA SAWYER.

Once you’ve done your homework, it’s time to start looking. I will represent you and puts your interests first. I am committed to meeting your needs and know the area.

LivePlayTexas checklist for buyers

5. Ask the right questions.

Ask me questions about the market and what to expect when you are looking.  Set your expectations of time and effort. And expect to get frank, straightforward answers.

Buying a home could well be the single most important decision for any Homebuyer to ever make, both financially and emotionally. However, if you do your homework using this checklist and prepare as directed for the process, it can also be a fun and rewarding experience. Happy hunting!

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