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Home Buying Tips

For the ultimate home buying experience, you’ll need to know what to do before you start looking. We’ve put together some helpful tips to ensure you have the best experience when purchasing your home.

  • Preapproval: Getting a preapproval before you start looking lets agents know that you are a serious buyer. During a preapproval, an expert lender will:
    1. Pull your FICO credit score and any co-borrower’s credit.
    2. Ask for your annual income(s) and any secondary income (i.e. from rental properties, bonuses, etc.)
    3. Calculate your debt-to-income ratio (DTI)
    4. Assess your monthly payments and your overall financial picture to be sure you’re comfortable with your potential mortgage payment and incurred bills.
    5. Give you a preapproval letter to take with you as you look.
  • Agent: Find a Real Estate Company and Realtor that works for you. Ask friends and family for recommendations or research agents online using the company website and client reviews on third-party review sites, like Zillow, Realtor and Google. Interview a few agents and learn who is knowledgeable, who knows the area and market best, and whose personality and communication style work for you.
  • Home Type: Discover what style of home suits you. Ask yourself these questions to get started:
    • Do you want a single family, multi-family, townhome or condo?
    • Which suits you better: a ranch, two-story or split-/multi-level?
    • Is your home style: rustic, modern, colonial or traditional?
    • How many bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.?
    • Do you want a private backyard or to be part of a community?
  • Market: Knowing the state of the housing market is important when you start looking. You can research or ask your trusted Realtor to find out if the market in your area is hot or cold.
    • A hot market is a seller’s market. For you, as the buyer, this means you’ll likely have to make a quick decision when you find your dream home. A hot market can also mean that there’s a greater availability of homes. Since they are usually going for or near asking price, homeowners are more likely to list their property.
    • Conversely, with a cold market, you will probably have some more time to make a decision and a greater likelihood of negotiation. During a (cold) buyer’s market, the availability of homes usually decreases because the probability of the seller to get asking price is lower.

When you find the perfect home, know that American Equity Mortgage is there to finance your purchase. Apply to talk with a Loan Originator today.