We understand home shopping can be stressful, especially in the current market. With a little bit of prepping, you can change that experience from stress-full to stress-free. Here are nine great tips to help make the process go smoothly:
- Start saving early: You will never regret coming to the closing table with extra money, even if you don’t need it right then. Start saving as early as you can for a down payment, potential closing costs, earnest money (which goes toward the loan), and any move-in expenses to give you an advantage.
- Create a budget: Find out what you can afford and stick to it. InterWest Mortgage can calculate your debt-to-income ratio and pair that with your credit and financial goals to determine your price range. Doing this early will save you a lot of time and frustration.
- Strengthen your credit: First, check your credit for free through Experian, Equifax, and/or TransUnion. Dispute errors immediately if you see any, and make sure you’re paying bills on time. Keep credit cards open but avoid adding large balances to these accounts until after you close.
- Investigate mortgage options: InterWest Mortgage can help you determine what type of mortgage works best for you. Your options are generally conventional mortgages, FHA loans with federal backing, USDA loans for rural buyers, or VA loans for military service members. We can also help you decide on the terms, such as 10-year, 15-year, or 30-year loans.
- Research real estate agents: Your real estate agent is crucial throughout the home buying process. They are your representative that will take you from start to finish and oversee everything in between. You need to feel comfortable with the agent and know they have the expertise to navigate negotiations with integrity, professionalism, and skill.
- Find out about buyer assistance programs: First-time home buyers often qualify for some assistance with down payments, closing costs, or interest rates. Our team is always up to date on this information, so ask us if you qualify for any of these programs.
- Get a preapproval letter: Our team can pull your credit, assess your debts and assets, and reviews necessary documents to provide you with a preapproval. This will create a quicker home buying process and gives you an advantage over other buyers that haven’t taken this proactive step.
- Consider neighborhoods and home styles: Location and home function are important. Think about what type of neighborhood you want to live in and what important features you need in a home. Make a list of must-haves and pros and cons and be sure to share this with your agent.
- Take advantage of virtual tours and open houses: Pay attention to little details when you’re at an open house such as outside noises, smells inside the home, the age and condition of electrical and plumbing systems, etc. Ask your agent to be honest and point out these conditions—they’ve likely been through a lot of homes and notice red flags quickly.
There is a lot to think about when buying a home. With the right team, you can be confident everything is getting taken care of. Pick InterWest Mortgage as your lender to ensure you have the best mortgage options in Idaho.