Home Buyer Tips
Buying a home is exciting, fun, and sometimes a little nerve wracking. Let’s be honest, a lot happens during the home buying process and it’s easy to forget or overlook something along the way. These home buyer tips highlight some of the info that you should consider throughout the process. Whether you're a first-time home buyer or looking for your forever home, these home buyer tips can help you make the best decision!
Make a Wishlist
As you think about the home you want to buy, make sure to start a wishlist. A wish list can help you determine what you need, want, and wish for in your new home. When you look at homes, your wishlist will help you determine if each house fits your needs for now and in the future.
Build up a Down Payment Base
Before a runner tackles a marathon, they take months to build up their “base mileage.” They slowly increase the distance they run each week so they’re ready on race day.
You can build up your base by saving money each month to help cover your down payment & other costs. It’s much easier to build a base over time than trying to come up with all that cash at once.
Don't Spend too Much on Your New Home
It’s basically a tradition to overeat on Thanksgiving right? The tasty turkey, family favorites, and incredible desserts make it easy to overindulge, but that much food can leave you feeling sick.
If you spend too much money on a home, it can leave you with the same sick feeling. That beautiful home can stretch your monthly budget and cause financial concerns. When you buy a home, stay within your pre-approved limit to create a healthy budget.
See if the Home is in a Flood Zone
When your home is in a flood zone it can increase your insurance costs and the risk of flooding/water damage. Before you buy a new home, verify if it’s in a flood zone.
Avoid Big Purchases
Surfers use a method called “duck diving” where they go under a wave to ensure that their progress from paddling out is not lost by being washed backwards from the wave.
Purchasing big items, like a car or new 4-wheeler, can push back the progress of your home loan. Hold off on big purchases during your home loan for smooth surfing.
Season Your Down Payment
Just like you season a steak to develop juicy flavors, you need to season your money before you close your home loan. Seasoning your money simply means letting it sit, untouched, in your bank account for at least 60 days before your closing. You should season the money you plan to use for your down payment & closing costs.
Pay off Small Debts
When you pay off smaller debts, like credit card bills, it increases your chance of qualifying for a mortgage. Consider tackling a few of your smaller debts before you apply for a mortgage to improve your chances and create a smoother experience.
Check out the Neighborhood
Before a snowmobiler hits a new line, they check their surroundings to make sure they’re safe from avalanches and other dangers. When you’re looking at buying a home, you should check your surroundings. Does the neighborhood feel safe? Is it close to your job and grocery stores? Do the schools have good ratings? These types of questions can help you determine if the neighborhood is one you’ll like.
Look Beyond the Staging
Easter eggs look vibrant, fun, and sometimes a little crazy. But no matter how they’re decorated, they’re still eggs. A house with brilliant staging is kind of similar.
Staging can make a home appear spacious and beautiful, but sometimes staging is used to hide flaws in the home or portray an unrealistic design, like putting a T.V where there isn’t an electrical outlet. When you tour houses, look beyond the staging. Pay attention to the home’s actual structure and layout.
Shed Extra Financial Weight
In late fall moose shed their antlers, which can weigh up to 60 pounds, to help them handle the harsh winters months ahead. Similarly shedding extra financial weight, like credit card debt and auto loans, can help you prepare to handle the cost of owning a home.
Remember the Whole Pie
Your monthly mortgage payment is kind of like a pizza pie. The whole payment is determined by adding up the individual slices and forgetting to include a piece can be devastating. It could mean discovering that you can’t actually afford the payment on your dream home. When you’re trying to calculate the payment on a home, remember that there’s more to the pie than principal and interest. Other slices can include mortgage insurance, an escrow account that covers your property taxes and homeowners insurance, and even H.O.A. fees.
If you’d like help calculating the payment for any home, give us a call. We’ll help you determine which slices you need so you can see an accurate, whole payment and we promise not to be too cheesy!
Review that Credit
Have you used reviews to help you plan for a trip? If you’re like us, and 95% of travelers, you’ve found a great place to eat or an awesome activity by checking reviews before you travel.
As you start planning for a new home, stop by Wasatch Mortgage to review your credit scores and history. Checking your credit beforehand can help you book a better mortgage experience with fewer delays in your trip home.
Watch out for Scammers
Scammers love taking advantage of people and unfortunately they see the home loan process as a good time to strike. Sometimes they’ll send documentation that appears to be from your lender asking you to verify sensitive information.
Be aware that any documentation coming from your lender should be on official letterhead and should not discuss sensitive information. If you receive something that appears “phishy,” call your loan officer.
Do not respond to the request until you have verified that it’s required for your home loan.
Cache Your Documents
Did you know Cache Valley’s name originates from trappers caching their furs here for safekeeping? They understood the importance of saving stuff for later.
Just like the trappers of old, you should cache your mortgage documents. Keep important information like your property tax notices, mortgage statements, and hazard insurance policies somewhere safe because you may need them in the future.
Read the H.O.A. Contract
Is your potential home part of a Homeowners Association? If so, read their contract before you buy the house. Some associations have strict rules, like limiting the number of cars you can park in your driveway, which may not line up with your lifestyle.