How big should your down payment be?
When home prices rise, so do the down payments required to purchase those homes. This has long posed a roadblock for many would-be first-time homebuyers. But it doesn't have to be the case.
It's always lovely when schedules line up perfectly. But, the reality is that when it comes to real estate transactions, there's likely to be a slight lag between the day you buy the home and the day you can move in. You may sell your home before you find a new home, may need to wait until the seller can move into their new home, or wait while the renovation company completes any necessary repairs or upgrades. Or, you may want to wait until you find the best deal on a house that fits within your budget. Our real estate agents know there are plenty of reasons you may need to rent a home, and we advise all clients to carefully think over the possibility of living in a short-term rental before moving into their new home.
Before you peruse real estate listings or pick out curtains, there's one thing you need to check that's more important than anything on your list. That one thing is your credit score because it will determine your ability to qualify for a mortgage and the amount of money you'll pay over the life of that loan. What you find may surprise you, but our real estate agents know there are some things you can do to get those numbers up to where you can qualify for the most favorable loan terms and the best interest rates.
The average credit score in the United States is 711. That's considered "good" credit. Those with "very good" credit have scores between 740-799, and those with "exceptional" credit fall between 800-850. These three ranges will allow you to qualify for most loans, but the higher the score, the better the loan terms and the lower the lender's interest rates.
The decision to buy a home is among the most important decisions you'll ever make. As with all big decisions, it isn't one you want to walk into blindly. Our real estate agents understand that it's perfectly normal to want to focus on finding your dream home. However, the largest and most important detail to take care of is the mortgage, and you should get the preapproval process out of the way before ever starting your search.
Preapproval is your ticket to comfortable homeownership. Unlike pre-qualification, the preapproval process is more in-depth and detailed. Your lender will thoroughly review your W2 statements, bank records, credit reports, tax records, employment records, etc. This is often referred to as the "4 C's" since the lender will look at your capacity to pay the mortgage, your credit, the capital/cash reserves you have access to, and the collateral you're putting down for the loan.
If 2020 taught us anything, it's that modern technology is a more flexible tool than we ever realized. In the past year, more than just shopping moved online. Businesses big and small realized how productive office workers could be from home. We figured out how to offer even the most location-based services online, and the internet even enabled us to keep some semblance of our social lives, with things like watch parties and Zoom happy hours.
We may be itching to get back to "normal," but we've discovered how some things can be better, too. Buying a home, for instance, will be easier than ever now that we've discovered how much of the traditional process can be done virtually. Here are just a few things that, with the help of one of our real estate agents, are more convenient than ever.
Virtual home tours have become one of the most popular real estate tools this year thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, and they won't be going away any time soon. Virtual tours are a convenient way to check-out these North Canton homes for sale from your couch, but they're not without their limitations. It's important to remember that virtual home tours can't completely replace the benefits of an in-person viewing.
Since many people are still unfamiliar with this innovative technology, our real estate agents thought it would be helpful to compile a list of questions you should be sure to ask during your next virtual home tour.