In this white-hot market, it’s crucial to be ready to make a move as soon as you find the ideal property. (Photo: Tom and Sini / Pexels).

 

Michaela Phillips, Guaranteed Rate, Inc.

Michaela Phillips, Guaranteed Rate, Inc.

Interested in finding the perfect home? If you’re ready to begin the home buying process, there are several pointers to keep in mind as you navigate our current competitive market. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or you’re ready to upgrade, the tips we share here will help you prepare for landing a nest you love.

Be ready to leap
There’s a housing shortage in many areas of the country, which poses a challenge for buyers. In this white-hot market, it’s crucial to be ready to make a move as soon as you find the ideal property. Before you even begin looking for homes, be sure that your credit score is in order and the necessary documentation is on hand. Here are a few additional steps to take to ensure that you’re prepared to move forward quickly:

Shop around for loan options
Finding the right mortgage loan can pose a significant challenge. While a down payment of at least 20 percent is required to avoid the added expense of Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), plenty of other options are available to make homeownership possible. If you’re a first-time buyer, an FHA loan may be a desirable possibility to explore. Many lenders offer this type of financing, so be sure to ask potential lenders about special programs for first-timers. If you’re planning to buy a home in a rural area, a USDA loan allows no money down. Lenders that offer USDA loans can be a bit more difficult to find, but they’re out there.

Team up with a local real estate agent
When you’re on the hunt for your ideal residence, an experienced Realtor is a must. Realtors play an essential role in the home-buying process, and it’s doubly important to find someone local. An agent who’s familiar with the area you’re interested in will likely have in-depth knowledge of nearby neighborhoods so you can explore multiple options.

Consider a longer mortgage term
While a 15-year mortgage is a great option for those who feel confident in their ability to make larger payments, a conventional 30-year mortgage has its own set of benefits. Many potential buyers are interested in a 30-year mortgage, as this loan product allows for maximum flexibility. Your monthly payments will be lower than that of a 15-year mortgage and you’ll enjoy the stability of a fixed interest rate. A 30-year mortgage makes it easy to plan for the future since the payments are predictable.

By Michaela Phillips. Michaela is the Vice President of Mortgage Lending at Guaranteed Rate, Inc. Contact Michaela at 303.443.6292, e-mail michaela.phillips@rate.com or visit michaelaphillips.com. NMLS: 312874.