Whether you are a first time homebuyer or an experienced homeowner, buying a new home can seem overwhelming. Derek Dutko Realty can help guide you through each step of the buying process, offering sound advice along the way. By working with a professional agent who knows the ins and outs of the real estate industry, you’ll not only end up with a great home, but you’ll also walk away with a great experience.
Here are some of the key areas that an agent can help you with: We are confident and certain that we will not only meet your needs but EXCEED them.
Here’s a handy checklist of eight things you can do up front to make the process a lot easier. Before you start packing, here’s what you need to do.
Prepare a budget. You need a clear picture of your family’s finances before applying for a mortgage. List all your monthly fixed expenses, such as car payments, current rent or mortgage, utilities, school tuition, and loan payments. Add categories for other expenses such as food and entertainment.
List your debts. If you have existing credit card debts, student loans or other debts that require regular monthly payments, get them down in black and white, so you know exactly how much you owe. Figure out your debt ratio. There are plenty of online calculators that will do this for you. You need to know two ratios. Your housing debt expenses (including taxes and insurance) as a percentage of your gross monthly income should be 25-30%. Your installment debt ratio (credit cards and other consumer debt) should be around 10-15%. Your total debt to income ratio should not be more than 40%.
Get pre-approved. #1 and #2 above are important because you want to get pre-approved for a loan before you start shopping. This is an important safeguard, to keep you from falling in love with something you can’t afford or can’t get a mortgage for. Derek Dutko Realty can assist you in getting pre-approved by a reputable lender. The lender will then go over your financing options, what monthly payment amount you can afford, and what you can expect for down payment requirements and closing costs. The lender evaluates this information and gives you a ballpark figure of the mortgage amount for which you could qualify. Pre-qualification can be done over the phone or on the Internet, usually at no cost. Pre-approved, on the other hand, means that a lender evaluates your debt ratios, your credit report, and your overall ability to repay a loan and says, “Yes, I would loan this buyer X number of dollars to buy a home.”
Make a list. You may not think so but this is an important step! You need to make a two-column list of needs vs. wants. Be sure you know the difference! You need three bedrooms. You want a swimming pool. You need to be very upfront with your Realtor about exactly what constitutes a deal-breaker in your purchasing process. If more than one person is involved in making the final decision, be sure that you are more or less in agreement about needs and wants. If one spouse wants a short commute and the other has visions of a country estate, you could have a problem. It’s always best to resolve these issues ahead of time.
Contact Derek Dutko Realty. Once you’ve done your homework, it’s time to start looking. You want to find a Realtor who represents you and puts your interests first. Chemistry is important. You need to look for someone who is committed to meeting your needs and who knows the area and price range you’re looking in. Derek Dutko Realty can assist you in this process by offering objective information about each property you look at. From local community information like schools and zoning to home-specific details like condition and amenities, we can help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
Choosing a home. For most buyers, choosing a home is an emotional process. We can assist you in this process by offering objective information about each property you look at. From local community information like schools and zoning to home-specific details like condition and amenities, an agent can help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
Making an offer. Once you’ve found the home of your dreams, we will research recent comparable sales of similar homes in the area to help determine a fair selling price. Based on those comparable sales, as well as other factors like inspections and repairs, Derek Dutko Realty will then help you structure an offer and negotiate to get the very best deal possible.
Closing. Closing, or settlement, can be a complicated process. In some areas, the escrow or title company handles the closing process, while in other areas an attorney handles it. Regardless of where you’re buying, a real estate agent can help ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Buying a home could well be the single most important decision you will ever make, both financially and emotionally. However, if you do your homework and prepare thoughtfully for the process, it can also be a fun and rewarding experience. We’re excited to show you how we’re putting the real back in realty!