Byers & Harvey, Inc.
Bruce A. Griffy, Broker

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1. Educate Yourself on the Home Buying Process

Knowledge is Power. The more you know about buying a home, the better decisions you will make. Learn all you can about Mortgages, Homeowner Expenses, Family Budgeting, Home Inspections, HOA’s and what you can and can’t do, Builders, Insurance and many other subjects. I have been a Real Estate and Mortgage Business since 2003. I have a completely different perspective than most Realtors. I offer FREE one on one classes to cover all these topics at length.

2. Hire a Realtor Who Works for You

20% of the Realtors do 80% of the Business because they operate like a business. Many Realtors just see a paycheck. Their focus is on their paycheck and not the well-being of their clients. There are many deadlines in a purchase contract and missing one can cost you your dream home. Real Estate Agents need to know everything there is to know about a home before they show it to you. Before you hire a Realtor, sit down with them and let them explain the Home Buying Process to you. They either know what they are talking about or they don’t. Don’t use a hobbyist to make the largest Investment of your life.

3. Have a Family Budget

Mortgage Lenders base your loan approval from what shows up on your credit report. There are many monthly expenses that don’t show up on your credit report such as utility bills, childcare, taking care of your parents and many others. Make out a real budget that includes every expense you have. I can help you with this.  
4. Don't Buy More House Than You Can Afford

This is the BIG ONE to me. I have seen so many buyers think they must have the biggest and the best house. I have seen Real Estate Agents and Mortgage Lenders try to push buyers into more house than they can afford. Being House Broke is no fun, speaking from Experience. I have seen foreclosures and divorces caused by this problem.
Just because you Qualify for a $400,000 Home doesn't mean you can afford it. There are many obligations that don't show on the credit report. Make yourself a real budget and include everything from car insurance to groceries. Now you know what you can readily afford.

5. Don't Drain Your Savings

Spending all of your savings on down payment and closing costs is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. There are many costs associated with buying a home, not just the down payment. A 20% Down Payment might keep you from paying Mortgage Insurance but can cause you to be house broke. 

You will need 3-6 months of living expenses in an emergency fund. A large down payment will cause stress you don't need, when you have many other options.

6. Don't be Careless with Credit

Lenders pull credit reports at preapproval to make sure things check out and again just before closing. They want to make sure nothing has changed in your financial picture. Any new loans or credit card accounts on your credit report can jeopardize the closing. Buyers, especially first-timers, often learn this lesson the hard way. In my entire career, any client who purchased a car doing the loan process, did not close on their home. Most new car payments will knock you out of your debt ratio for your home loan.

7. Know the Hidden Costs of Homeownership

Besides the monthly Principal and Interest Payment, there are several other costs you need to be aware of. As a new homeowner, you will pay property taxes, mortgage insurance, homeowners’ insurance, hazard insurance, repairs, maintenance, utilities and deposits to name a few. You will also need appliances, furniture and window treatments.

The average homeowner pays about $2,000 annually on Maintenance Services. Not having enough money in your Emergency Fund can put you in the Red very quickly. You need to set aside 1-2 % of the purchase price of your home for repairs and maintenance expenses. 

You have to have a Monthly Budget Plan before you ever buy a home. You have to include daycare, groceries, fuel and many other items. You will realize the amount the bank approves you for, is not what you can realistically afford. Don't be forced into a house you can't afford. I will be happy to help you with a Monthly Budget Plan.

8. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Most Lenders will give you a Pre-Qualifying Letter. It’s nice to have, but it won’t buy you a house. A Pre-Qualifying Letter just means they looked at your credit and credit scores and everything looks good. So many things can pop up on Bank Statements, Paycheck Stubs and other research after you receive a Pre-Qualifying Letter.

Make it easy on yourself and ask for a Pre-Approval. They must work a little harder and you must wait a little longer, but it is Peace-of-Mind. Everything you stated is proven and an Underwriter will review your Documents and sign off on it. This is as close as you can come to a Cash Buyer.

9. Always Get Estimates From At Least Two Lenders

I always recommend getting quotes from 2-3 Lenders. Compare Rates, Lender Fees and Loan Terms. Always pay attention to customer service in the process. If you are getting the runaround and phone calls not getting returned, you will have a BAD Home Buying Experience. Lenders are very competitive in the area, and they always know what the other is doing.

10. Down Payment Assistant Programs

There are many 0% Down Loans available along with Down Payment Assistance Programs. Don’t be cash strapped when you move into your new home. Contact Me and I can discuss all the programs that are available. I can put you in touch with Mortgage Lenders who will always put you first!

Contact Me Now For Your Free One on One First-Time Homebuyers Class!


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