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A Useful Checklist for Homebuyers

Access Homes provides some useful guidelines for Homebuyers that you may want to consider:

1. Money Matters

  • You will get a loan based on the assumptions of the lender, not on the amount you are comfortable spending. Consider how much you are willing to spend and do your homework. As this is a lifestyle decision, think about expenses like education, travel, and maintenance reserves. Don’t wait for the lender to figure out how much you can afford.
  • Make provisions for taxes, homeowner association dues, insurance and other unanticipated costs when you are contemplating how much of a loan you can afford.
  • The best strategy is to actually calculate the taxes and other expenses rather than assuming. Access Homes will help you find the property that fits the price you are willing to pay.

2. Access Homes is there to help.

Don’t forget to ask about:

  • Mortgage types
  • Financing risks and benefits       
  • Types of homes and the best match for you
  • Location, features and price range
  • Tax issues and responsibilities of a homeowner

It doesn’t matter if this  is your first or tenth time buying a home, you need to ask as many questions as possible since the options available may not be the same this time around.

3. Check your credit.

Don't forget to request a copy of your credit report and look out for:

  • Unclosed accounts you thought you had closed
  • Too many open credit cards accounts
  • Alleged non-payments and inaccuracies

Before a lender previews your credit history, make sure you have time to close dormant or unwanted accounts and clear up discrepancies. According to the US Public Research Interest Group (PIRG), 79% of credit reports have serious errors or mistakes. Confirm that you are in the 21% that does not have the errors!

4. Gather and organize valuable documents.

Gather all the essential information you will need when you file the loan application. Access Homes can provide a complete checklist so that you are fully prepared.

The documents include:

  • Income tax returns and W2's for the past 2 years
  • Pay stubs from employer
  • Bank statements for the last 2 years
  • An updated and accurate credit report

5. Get pre-approved, not pre-qualified!

  • Pre-approval can be your advantage in a competitive bidding situation over other offers that are not pre-approved.
  • Pre-approval gives you the security of shopping for a home that you can honestly afford.
  • Pre-approval tells the seller that you are serious, ready to buy, and solidly financed.

6. Avoid pre-mortgage pitfalls.

Avoid doing anything that can have a negative impact until the time your loan closes. Examples include:

  • Changing jobs
  • Switching banks
  • Moving your money around
  • Making major purchases

7. Build your "need to have" and "nice to have" list.

Every buyer has their desired home in mind, but practically, you are not going to get everything. It is better for you to make a list incorporated into two columns. One column will be the things that the home must have and the other column will have the nice to have or bonus features. Make a similar list to the one below:

Need to Have

Nice to Have

Size and Space

Pool

Number of bedrooms and bathrooms

Sun Deck

Fireplace

Garden

Wooden floors

Short commute to work

School district

Vicinity to shopping outlets