As a loan officer, I have worked with hundreds of people who are trying to buy or refinance their home. I started thinking about why some home buyers have been successful and had a smoother process than others. As I started thinking about the most successful and happy clients I have worked with it became obvious that there was a short list of traits that many or all of them had in common.
It is important to understand that all of these clients have come to me with different circumstances surrounding their need or want to buy a home. Not all of them had great credit. In fact, many of them didn’t. Not all of them had a savings account bursting at the seams with money for a down payment. While some were in a better position to buy a home, they all were willing to take the risk of trying to do so.
I find it scary as to how many people have in the back of their mind that they want to buy a home but have been convinced they need a large down payment or perfect credit to do so. The reality is there are mortgage options for most people out there if they are willing to work for it.
They Create a Budget
In almost every case they had a budget they set for their monthly payment, down payment and closing costs.
They are less concerned about what their interest rate is and more concerned about the monthly payment. Some programs will have a lower interest rate but due to mortgage insurance and other factors the monthly payment is higher. The pre-approval amount is based on their monthly payment goals and not the maximum amount they would be approved for. In almost every, case they have stuck to that amount in choosing a home to purchase.
Not all of the successful home buyers I have worked with have a down payment. This isn’t necessary to purchase a home as there are several options for down payment assistance, zero down or minimal down payment amount loans. While discussion these options a successful home buyer is always open to hearing what options are available and may best suit their goals for the purchase.
The closing costs and down payment are a separate entity. Even with a down payment assistance or zero down loan, there will be closing costs. While it is a challenge in the current market to get them, there are seller concessions available on all loan programs. If the sellers do pay for your closing costs you still need to have some funds saved for the Earnest Money Deposit and the Home Inspection. As with the costs for the down payment, there are options. Discuss them with your lender.
They Are Prepared
Like a Boy Scout, the most successful home buyers I have worked with are all prepared to purchase a new home. They have all started the pre-approval a few months ahead of time to make sure they are ready to go when the time comes. By starting early, they are able to improve their status with the loan approval. Many will make minor fixes that make a big difference in terms of their credit scores.
They create a good list of priorities for their purchase. Many of them know exactly what they want in the home they are about to purchase. They have chosen a neighborhood or area of Spokane they want to live in and have done a little online research on the homes in that area.
Simply put, the more prepared a home buyer is the less likely there are to be surprised during the process.
They Ask Questions
Because these buyers are prepared and have a budget they seem to ask the right questions throughout the pre-approval and home buying process. As I stated earlier they have done a little online research but instead of assuming it is all true they ask questions for clarification. They also ask questions when the Realtor or myself says something that is unclear. This is an important trait.
They Do What Needs To Be Done
The home buying process can be tough and stressful. The most successful home buyers I have worked with have all been willing to do what it takes to make sure they are able to purchase a home. Some have spent time and money to fix their credit and some have saved money for several months to come up with a down payment.
One of the most important traits the most successful home buyers I have worked with has been their ability to get paperwork returned in a timely manner. While the mortgage paperwork is easily the most frustrating part of the process, a successful home buyer will be able to return that paperwork quickly to make sure their loan closes on time.
Buying a home will always be a stressful time. It is a huge decision and can be a lengthy process. If you are thinking about buying a home soon you will have a much better experience if you follow these tips.