Local Buying Tips

Start By Cleaning Up Your Credit.

Since you most likely will need to get a mortgage to buy a house, you must make sure your credit history is as clean as possible. A  few months before you start houe hunting, get copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct and fix any problems you discover. 

Before House Hunting, Get Pre-approved.

Getting pre-approved will you save yourself the grief of looking at houses you can't afford and put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. Not to be confused with pre-qualification, which is based on a cursory review of your finances, pre-approval from a lender is based on your actual income, debt and credit history.

Aim For A Home You Can Really Afford.

The rule of thumb is that you can buy housing that runs about two-and-one-half times your annual salary

Choose Carefully Between Points and Rate.

When picking a mortgage, you usually have the option of paying additional points -- a portion of the interest that you pay at closing -- in exchange for a lower interest rate. If you stay in the house for a long time -- say three to five years or more -- it's usually a better deal to take the points. The lower interest rate will save you more in the long run.

If You Can Not Put Down The Usual 20 Percent, You May Still Qualify For A Loan.

There are a variety of public and private lenders who, if you qualify, offer low-interest mortgages that require a small down payment.

Buy In A District With Good Schools.

In most areas, this advice applies even if you do not have school-age children. Reason: When it comes time to sell, you'll learn that strong school districts are a top priority for many home buyers, thus helping to boost property values.

Get Professional Help.

Even though the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings, most new buyers (and many more experienced ones) are better off using a professional agent. Call Candace (Candy) McDonald at 305-389-0720.