Friday, May 29, 2015

The Home Buying Process

Buying a house is one of the most exciting adventures you'll undergo in your lifetime. It is also one of the largest investments you will ever make. To uncomplicate the home buying process, your Lake of the Ozarks mortgage lender is here to help! Follow these steps to help you make the best decisions possible:

1. Determine How Much You Can Afford. 

Lenders will generally recommend you look for a home that is no more than 3-5 times your annual household income. However, you should make this decision based on your own financial situation. How much you can afford will depend on your income, credit rating, current monthly expenses, down payment and the interest rate. Use our online calculators to help throughout the mortgage process!

2. Get Prequalified and Preapproved for a Loan. 

Most first-time home buyers will need financing and a consultation with a mortgage lender is a crucial step. Now there is a difference between getting prequalified and getting preapproved for a Lake of the Ozarks mortgage loan. Getting prequalified is just a guess based on what you tell the lender and there is no guarantee. Whereas with a preapproval, you'll get a better idea of how big a loan you qualify for based on your credit and other financial documents you provide. Your offer will look more appealing than other buyers who have not been preapproved.

3. Find a Real Estate Agent. 

Many times, your mortgage lender will be able to provide recommendations on great real estate agents in the area. Since the lender is involved throughout the entire home buying process, they'll be able to recommend an agent that gets a lot of closings. While it may seem like you can find a home on your own, with the maze of forms, financing, inspections, marketing, pricing and negotiating, it makes sense to hire a professional who knows the community and much more!

4. Shop Around. 

Make a list of all the things you want in a house. Since you're going to have to live with this decision for awhile, you want to make sure you choose a home wisely. Once you've made a list of must-haves, think about the neighborhood, schools, commute to work and the convenience of local shopping. Once you start touring homes, it might be helpful to make some notes. Write down the pros and cons of each place you visit. Take as much time as you need to find the right home for you!

5. Make an Offer. 

Once you've found the home you like, it's time to make an offer. Most sellers will price their homes a little high, expecting some negotiating to be involved. This is where you will work with your real estate agent to negotiate a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes. Making an offer is not final, as the seller can come back with a counter-offer. Once you've agreed on a price, the house will go into escrow, which is the period of time it takes to complete the rest of the steps in the home buying process.

6. Get a Loan. 

First State Bank Mortgage has a variety of loan options, from adjustable rate to fixed rate. When it comes to your financing needs, Lakelender Michael Lasson will discuss financing options, offer competitive interest rates and back it up with the first class service you deserve! Every home buyer has different needs when it comes to their mortgage; you may be interested in the lowest monthly payment possible or interested in getting the best interest rate out there. Your lender will be able to help you every step of the way!

7. Get a Home Inspection. 

Offers are typically contingent on a home inspection to ensure there's no structural damage or anything else that may need fixing. It will be well-worth the money to know the property is in good condition. This contingency protects the buyer by allowing a renegotiation or withdraw of the offer without penalty if the inspect reveals significant material damage. Once you receive a report, you can decide if you want to ask the seller to fix anything before the closing.

8. Get an Appraisal. 

Your mortgage lender will arrange for an appraiser to provide an estimate on the value of the house you are buying. The appraisal will let all the parties involved know that you are paying a fair price for the home. A home appraisal also protects the bank from getting stuck with property that is worth less than what they've invested. The home appraisal is a no-nonsense factor in a decision that is often emotional for the buyer.

9. Find Homeowners Insurance. 

You wouldn't drive a car without insurance, so why would you own a house without it? Real estate insurance protects the owners in the event of a catastrophe. You never know when something could happen to your home, therefore it is important to have insurance lined up before the closing, when ownership is transferred to you.

10. Close on the Home. 

At closing, you will sign all the appropriate documents to complete the purchase. Be sure to talk to your mortgage lender to understand all the costs that will be involved in the closing. Closing costs typically include, but aren't limited to, your down payment, title fees, appraisal fees, attorney fees and inspection fees. It typically takes a few days for your new home loan at the Lake of the Ozarks to be funded after the paperwork is complete. Once the check is delivered to the seller, it's time to move into your new home!

With home loan rates currently at attractive levels, now is the time to consider purchasing a home at the Lake of the Ozarks! Contact me today at 573-746-7211 to discuss home loan options. Lakelender Michael Lasson is opening the doors to your Lake Home! 

For Lake area news, resources and tips on financial services, please 

Michael Lasson
Sr. Residential Mortgage Lender
NMLS #: 493712

2265 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B
PO Box 1449
Lake Ozark, MO 65049

Direct:  (573) 746-7211


**The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent First State Bank of St Charles’s positions, strategies, or opinions.

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