Be prepared when you are considering purchasing a home.

by: Mari Takeshita

When it comes to buying a home, if you put the horse before the cart, you’ll get nowhere fast.

Homeownership lessons for those preparing to buy a home.

When I first meet with a buyer client, I sit with them for an hour and explain the process of purchasing a home.. included in that are these important issues:

 Credit scores

Your credit score is a numerical rendition of your credit report. The higher the score the better your credit and the more likely you’ll be approved for a mortgage at the lowest rate. The opposite is true with lower credit scores.

Also, with a good credit score you have the option to finance a higher amount with the use of conventional loans which are about $100 or so less due to no upfront mortgage insurance.

Obtaining your credit report early in the home buying process gives you time to correct errors and be properly educated to what you can do to increase your scores.

A good loan officer can advise you on credit issues, including how to increase your credit and fico scores.

Determine your down payment and closing costs

Virtually all loans programs will require a minimum down payment amount necessary to secure the loan. Lenders want you to have a stake in the game and not put the risk totally on them.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans are available for as little as 3.5 percent down and with the down payment assistants that are available that goes down to as low as 1 percent or $1000 depending on the program.

In addition to the down payment, you could need closing costs that amount to another 3 percent to 5 percent of the sales price, which can be paid for thru the down payment program or by the seller, or if you premium price your interest rate, the lender can also assist in the closing fees.

Ask your real estate agent and check with your local housing, consumer and community groups.

 Ask the right questions before you begin.

1.    Does the Realtor have a lender that can help you with the loan.

2.    Does the Realtor work with the down payment program and know how to structure your contract.

3.    Does the Realtor know how to explain the down payment assistants program to you and more importantly

4.    Does the Realtor know how to explain the down payment assistants program to the agent that has the listing that you would want to offer to purchase.

NOT ALL AGENTS OR REALTORS KNOW HOW TO WORK USING A DOWN PAYMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM. Your job is to find one that does so that finding purchasing a home has less frustrations.

5.     Does the Realtor explain to you the programs that fit into your needs? If not, find someone that can do that! It’s the biggest key to closing on  your “Home sweet Home”

Mari Takeshita

Your Realtor

Denver Metro, Colorado