HATTIESBURG, Mississippi (WDAM) – If becoming a homeowner is one of your New Year’s resolutions, you might want to listen.
Everyone has this detailed dream home that they hope they will someday have. From the backyard to the brick, and the amount of space inside and out, but what does it take to have those keys in hand to call that perfect home yours?
As you walk the Pine Belt, in many neighborhoods, display “For Sale” signs, keeping real estate agents busy and first-time buyers anxious. However, most real estate agents think that finding a home shouldn’t be the first thing that comes to their mind. Instead, a Hattiesburg real estate broker said you should first find a real estate agent to help you start the home buying process.
“The process of buying a home can be an incredibly exciting time,” said Adam Watkins, broker partner for Team All-Star.
“A lot of first-time home buyers are really excited about the search,” Watkins said. “I mean humans, I think, are inherently hunters, so they want to hunt, but they don’t think about everything they need to do to hunt successfully,” Watkins added.
Lots of calculations and paperwork are just the start. Watkins and mortgage lender Samuel Whitehead both agree that finances come first.
“The bottom line when you go into the home buying process, we look at three things,” Whitehead said. We want to make sure your income is there to cover the debt. We want to make sure your credit is there so you don’t get overextended, ”Watkins said. “And the most important thing is the credit scores. “
Whitehead stated that the ideal credit score when buying is a 740. However, you can get away with a 620. Whitehead added that the higher the score, the better the interest rate. Then you will enter the eligibility process which will help you determine your monthly mortgage rates based on your income.
“So if you win $ 1,000, you can afford $ 250,” Whitehead said. “$ 2,000 a month, $ 500. $ 3,000 a month, $ 750, ”Whitehead said. These are just examples of mortgage payments based on the amount of money you bring home each month.
If you don’t qualify for a conventional loan, this is not the end of the road. Currently, three other payment assistant programs are available:
Loans are all granted if certain conditions are met including your credit score and income. While these forms of assistance are available, Watkins says there are other costs you should be prepared for. Such as your down payment, closing costs, home inspection, but first your down payment which is the money you put in to show you are serious about buying the house you have chosen.
“The broker has an obligation to deposit this money into their escrow account, which is a separate account created by law and protected,” Watkins said. “This is where client funds are held. It is held there in trust and then credited to the buyer at closing, ”he explained.
Once your lender has settled the financial side for you, the hunt officially begins with your real estate agent.
Watkins said your real estate agent should act as a teacher. Someone to walk you through not only a house, but also questions, dos and don’ts.
“Ask questions,” Watkins said. “Understand what the inspection process is. The evaluation process, ”he said. “What kind of contract in the offer is there and what kind of contingencies are there to protect the buyer?” “
While taking in the beautiful view of the houses, Watkins said it’s best not to be sold just for this.
“While licensed real estate agents and brokers aren’t licensed contractors, engineers, anything like that,” Watkins said. “Often times, if we are experienced, we have been exposed hundreds, if not thousands of times, to circumstances that we can bring to the attention of the buyer.”
The process of buying a home is not at all a quick one that normally takes 30 to 45 days, but Watkins encourages buyers to be patient.
“Most first-time home buyers don’t buy their home forever,” Watkins said. “They buy their first house. They need it to be a good decision and if they are with a good agent they can make a good decision. So we can come up with a good decision, the houses are still coming to the market, ”he said. “What’s better is that we make a wise and informed decision. “
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