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Ryan V. McNeill

Buying a home is exciting, but the process is not always easy. There are expected and unexpected issues that may arise before, during and after the home buying process starts. Is now the right time to buy a home? What is a good amount for a down payment?  Should I buy now or wait? These are questions to consider before you move forward.

No matter where you are living in North Carolina understanding these  three things will help you during the home buying process:

  1. Know Your Credit Score

First things first! Your credit score plays an essential role in determining how you approach buying a home.  It reveals a lot about your income, debt, and potential to repay the mortgage. In a perfect world everyone would have high credit scores and qualify for everything, but that is not the way the world works. shows some approximate credit scores mortgage companies look for to decide if a buyer will be approved for a specific loan. In some cases, like with Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, borrowers with low credit scores have higher down payments.

While your credit score is an important part of the home buying process that are other factors that control when and where you purchase a home.

2. Know Your Budget

Now that you have your credit in check its time talk about a budget. All home buyers need a budget. After you factor in down payments, inspections, homeowner’s insurance, closing costs and other expenses, everything starts to add up.

Things to take into consideration for your budget

  • Gross pay (what you take home before deductions)
  • Take home pay (what you take home after deductions)
  • Age of home (new build with a warranty or an older home that may require work)
  • Homeowner association fees, real estate taxes and home insurance costs
  • Other financial obligations (health insurance, car note, other monthly bills)
  • Your risk tolerance

Getting pre-approved by a mortgage lender can help speed up the home buying process. Check with your bank or a mortgage broker who will shop rates on your behalf. Also remember you may be approved for a larger loan (and monthly payment) than you are comfortable with; nothing says you must take the maximum loan for which you qualify. Think about how the payment will fit into your budget. Once you have the pre-approval in hand, you can be confident when you make an offer on a home you love.

3. Be Patient

Buying a home is a process. Part of this process is realizing not everything is going to happen according to schedule. You may make an offer on a home only to find the owners have accepted another offer. Or your home inspector may discover major issues with the property, leaving you to decide whether you want to deal with repairs or walk away. Putting in an offer and signing closing documents does not happen in one day. Practicing patience will not only save you from unwanted stress but save you time, too. Whether it’s a starter home or forever home, rushing the home buying process is not helpful to you or the other participants involved.

Purchasing a home or residential property is a major investment for anyone. With this list you can confidently make the best decisions for you and your loved ones.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding real estate laws and procedures in North Carolina schedule your appointment today to speak with one of our experienced attorneys.