By CARL MARZOLA, CIPS, CRS, CBR, Master Broker
There’s a reason that buying a home is one of the most important elements comprising the “American Dream” (even for people who live in other countries). For many people, this exciting event is a hallmark of having “arrived,” of reaching a major one of life’s cornerstone.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to find the best house or condo for the best price, with the best possible mortgage rates. Since this is likely to be one of the single biggest purchases of your life, it’s important to arm yourself with as much information and know just what to look for, what to avoid, and how to find the most competitive mortgage.
Buying a home is an experience that everyone who wants to have really should be able to enjoy. See if these suggestions help.
Reasons to Buy
Savings: The money you were paying in rent is now building equity in your property. Owning a home allows you to deduct the interest from your mortgage, which can lower your tax bill when April 15 rolls around.
Wealth Accumulation: When your home appreciates in value, you have equity. This equity translates to profit when you sell your home (it’s the difference between what you originally paid and your selling price). In many markets, the value of real estate appreciates by as much as 4 percent each year, and often a lot more.
The ABCs of 123s
Although most homebuyers start by shopping for a home first, the truth is that the first thing you should get in line is your financing: In other words, how are you going to pay for your dream to become reality?
Although using a “canned” mortgage calculator—entering your monthly income and bills into a work sheet while ruminating about your general price range—can provide you with a basic understanding of what you may be looking out as you begin your search, these things don’t provide an in depth look at all the mortgage options that are available to you.
Getting pre-approval means you’re approved for a specific loan amount. At the end of the process, you are pre-approved for a home costing up to that purchase price. Pre-approval is win-win for the prospective homebuyer, because you know how much you can borrow, the real estate agent who knows precisely what price range homes for you to consider, and even more importantly, the seller who, if he has more than one offer, is likely to look with favor upon your preapproved offer versus one from a party who has not been preapproved.