With the new year, comes new year’s resolutions. On the personal side you might want to maintain a healthier diet this year, on the business side, you might want to work toward that promotion at work. But what about home buying goals? If becoming a home owner this year is one of your resolutions, follow these steps to buying a home in Western Washington in 2021.
One of the most important steps to buying home in Western Washington in 2021 is to check your credit score. Before contacting a lender, it’s a good idea to see where you stand credit wise. Knowing this information before talking to a lender lets you dispute any errors in reporting. Checking your credit can also tell you areas of strength and areas of opportunities. If you see that you have paid multiple bills late and it’s affecting your credit score dramatically, it’s a good idea to make a plan to improve your score, before attempting to apply for a home loan.
Establish a down payment
Take some time to review your finances and establish how much you’d be able to contribute toward a down payment from your personal savings. If you’ve talked with family members about receiving gift funds, you can include these funds as well. Every little bit will help draw down the amount you owe on your mortgage each month. Now, it’s important to note that not every loan type requires the traditional 20% down. Talk with your lender about what your estimated down payment looks like and see what loan type works best for you.
Asses your cash flow
Look at your previous six bank statements and identify your net income every month. This will help you estimate how much you’ll be able to put toward monthly payments on mortgage, principal, interest, taxes, and insurance. Having a solid number can help you start looking for houses in the correct price range. Finding the “perfect house” just to realize its way over your price range, is a defeating and discouraging feeling that can be avoided.
Getting pre-approved is one of the most important steps to buying a home in Western Washington in 2021 for two main reasons. The first is to confirm the exact amount of home you are approved for. The second reason getting pre-approved is a good idea is because it shows home sellers that you are a serious buyer. If it’s down to you and another buyer, and you are already pre-qualified, it gives you an edge in the competition.
Prepare current home for move
Once you are pre-approved with a lender, it’s time to start thinking about the plan for your current home. Do you currently own a home that you need to sell? Are you moving from an apartment and need to break a lease early? Whatever your situation, it’s important to work out the details so your move out and move in process is simultaneous and seamless.
Work with a real estate agent
Another important step to buying a home in Western Washington in 2021 is to work with a real estate agent. A good agent can be the reason for a smooth home buying process. Do research on reputable real estate agents, who have experience in working with clients similar to you, as well as experience working in the areas, you’re looking at moving to. You should be comfortable asking question to your real estate agent, and you agent should always be in your corner. Once you have selected a real estate agent, it’s time to start shopping!
Look at homes and make an offer
By now you’ve talked with your agent about what you really want and need in your new home. Armed with this information along with your price range, look at listings online with your agent who will set up open houses for you to tour. Once you’ve found the right home for you, make an offer!
Closing day + keys
This is the moment you have been working towards! The home you had your eye on, is yours! You’ll read and sign papers and then read and sign some more. Once you finish signing paperwork, it’s time to get the keys. Your real estate agent will likely meet you on site to give you a warm welcome to your new home.
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