NEW YORK, Jan. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Buying a home -- whether it's your first or you fifth -- is an emotional process. And today, when you throw in things like extra red tape, plummeting property values, skeptical lenders, and counteroffers, it becomes even more stressful.
The ultimate key to success is to make those emotions positive. While this may seem easier said than done, when you think about it, your approach to home buying should be no different than your approach to all other important decisions. Take buying a car, for example. Before you purchase, you consider things like price, new vs. used, reliability, maintenance costs, and gas mileage. All of these factors are important -- yet unemotional -- considerations that you take into account before you make your final decision. And how do you do this? You do some research online, you speak to your mechanic, you compare the options, and so on. Here's the point -- buying a home is really no different than buying a car. (It just costs more!) You need to be an educated consumer, and you need to understand the process and the market before you jump in with reckless abandon. So where do you begin? How can you best avoid the stress that is associated with home buying these days? Here are some helpful, practical home buying tips from RealtyPin.com.
1. Educate yourself
While this may seem elementary, there are a lot of home buying terms that you must understand before you jump into the market. For example, what exactly does "escrow" mean? What is "pre-approval", and how can it work in your favor? What types of home loans are available? ARM (Adjustable Rate)? Fixed Rate? What are mortgage points? Closing costs? Title insurance? Private Mortgage Insurance? So, how do you learn it all? Visit reputable and authoritative online sites. Search for blogs that are administered by reputable realtors, real estate experts, or professional lenders.
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2. Seek out experts
Realtors are the logical starting point. But remember one important lesson -- the realtor works for you, not the other way around. You need to feel comfortable choosing the realtor that best relates to you. Avoid being pressured. You are not going to understand every detail of home buying, mortgages, and interest rates solely from an online search. Your independent research should serve as your foundation for asking more in depth questions.
Find a realtor or agent that takes the time to clarify your questions. If the main focus is simply on selling you a house rather than on educating you to make wise choices, you probably need to move on. You're already borrowing money to buy a home; there's no need to borrow stress as well! By all means, seek out a mortgage professional. Whether it's your bank or another local lender, it's best to start at home. Local professionals have an edge over the national groups simply because they have a detailed understanding of the local market, and how available properties match up with particular financing options. Select your mortgage professional not on rates alone. Beware that some rates are offered as "teasers". You need to feel comfortable that your professional is eager to educate you on your available financing options. Ask pertinent questions, and discover precisely
and your finances. Avoid high-pressure selling tactics (like so many lenders are using these days, in an attempt to get more qualified buyers through the doors), and focus more on information.
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3. Get pre-approved
Once you've selected your mortgage professional, you can proceed with pre-approval. As opposed to pre-qualification, where a lender determines that you are credit-worthy, pre-approval is an actual verification that you have qualified for a specific loan. Why the emphasis on pre-approval? Because the "waiting game" is perhaps the greatest stress of all when it comes to buying a home! While you can't control whether or not the seller will accept your offer (or if he will counter with an outrageous offer), you can reduce a great deal of stress if you have already been pre-approved.
James Paffrath RealtyPin.com, 1-(866) 960-8649, firstname.lastname@example.org
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