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How to buy a home in the Hudson Valley in ten easy steps!

Friday, March 29, 2019   /   by Vanessa Saunders

How to buy a home in the Hudson Valley in ten easy steps!

We often talk about various individual parts of the home purchasing process but sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture. What should someone wanting to buy a home do, and what order should they do it in? Here are the ten basic steps to home ownership, in a nutshell:

1. Get a down payment in place.
However you do it - saving like mad, getting a loan or a gift from your parents (remind them that you'll be the one choosing their nursing home), or find a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Whatever! Keep in mind, this nest egg doesn't have to be as big as some would have you think. 20% down may be the gold standard for many kinds of mortgage programs but not all. For example, you can qualify for a VA or USDA loan with as little as 3%, or even 0% down if you are a service member.

2. Find your credit score and raise it if necessary.
A credit score is a number assigned by one or more of three credit score providers, Experian, Equifax and Trans Union. A credit score, or "FICO" number tells a lender how credit-worthy you have been in the past and how likely you are to re-pay. Different loans and lenders have different requirements for different mortgage programs. If your score is too low, it can be raised, though it takes a little time. Consult with a credit restoration company like North Shore Advisors. We often talk about various individual parts of the home purchasing process but sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture. What should someone wanting to buy a home do, and what order should they do it in? Here are the ten basic steps to home ownership, in a nutshell:

1. Get a down payment in place.
However you do it - saving like mad, getting a loan or a gift from your parents (remind them that you'll be the one choosing their nursing home), or find a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Whatever! Keep in mind, this nest egg doesn't have to be as big as some would have you think. 20% down may be the gold standard for many kinds of mortgage programs but not all. For example, you can qualify for a VA or USDA loan with as little as 3%, or even 0% down if you are a service member.

2. Find your credit score and raise it if necessary.
A credit score is a number assigned by one or more of three credit score providers, Experian, Equifax and Trans Union. A credit score, or "FICO" number tells a lender how credit-worthy you have been in the past and how likely you are to re-pay. Different loans and lenders have different requirements for different mortgage programs. If your score is too low, it can be raised, though it takes a little time. Consult with a credit restoration company like North Shore Advisors.

3. Find a REALTOR®
Note we didn't say "real estate agent." Also note we did say "REALTOR®" (all capital letter and that little ® Registered Trademark sign) because there is a difference. Anyone who can pass a state real estate exam can be an agent. But you need to find a REALTOR® to represent you, because the designation means the REALTOR® you hire is licensed real estate salesperson who belongs to the National Association of REALTORS, and is held to a higher ethical standard than licensed agents and must adhere to a Code of Ethics. Every agent is not a REALTOR®, but most are. If you're unsure, you can ask your agent if they're a licensed REALTOR®. Your REALTOR® will also be able to help you find a lawyer, to draw up all the necessary paperwork and search the necessary records regarding the property. Don't make the mistake of hiring the neighbor or relative

4. Find a lender and get pre-approved for a mortgage
Getting pre-approved means you have a lender's promise that they will give you a mortgage up to a certain amount of money to buy a home. Note that it is different from being pre-QUALIFIED. Pre-qualifying is just the first step. It gives you an idea of how much of a loan you'll likely qualify for. Pre-approval is the second step, a conditional commitment by a lender to actually grant you the mortgage. If you have done step three, your REALTOR® will know of a lender or lenders who are competent and trustworthy. We recommend Barry Goldenberg of Luxury Mortgage for most of our buyers transactions.

5. Draw up your house shopping list and go shopping
Decide what you want and what you need in your next home. Your REALTOR® can then find homes for you to tour. If you like, you could do your own virtual touring online.

6. Make an offer!
This is it! Time to pull the trigger on the home of your dreams. Your REALTOR® can advise you of what price to offer. In the Hudson Valley, many neighborhood markets are crowded with buyers and not too many houses. You'll want your offer to stand out, even if it's not full-priced.

7. Get a Home Inspection
Your offer has been accepted! Congratulations but don't bust out the bubbly just yet. It's time to get down to the nitty gritty and see just what this new "home" of yours looks like without makeup. Hire a home inspector and have them do a top to bottom inspection of any faults or failings this house has below the shingles.

8. Get an appraisal
Not the same as an inspection. The appraisal is for the lender to schedule. The lender wants to see if this house you've picked out is worth what you think it is. A bank will issue a loan only for the appraised value of a property.

9. Close the deal!
If your loan is approved, the bank will schedule a day for you to sign all the paperwork necessary to complete the purchase. Don't forget to take the keys!

10. Call the friend or relative who has the pickup truck, 'cause you're MOVIN' IN!

3. Find a REALTOR®
Note we didn't say "real estate agent." Also note we did say "REALTOR®" (all capital letter and that little ® Registered Trademark sign) because there is a difference. Anyone who can pass a state real estate exam can be an agent. But you need to find a REALTOR® to represent you, because the designation means the REALTOR® you hire is licensed real estate salesperson who belongs to the National Association of REALTORS, and is held to a higher ethical standard than licensed agents and must adhere to a Code of Ethics. Every agent is not a REALTOR®, but most are. If you're unsure, you can ask your agent if they're a licensed REALTOR®. Your REALTOR® will also be able to help you find a lawyer, to draw up all the necessary paperwork and search the necessary records regarding the property. Don't make the mistake of hiring the neighbor or relative

4. Find a lender and get pre-approved for a mortgage
Getting pre-approved means you have a lender's promise that they will give you a mortgage up to a certain amount of money to buy a home. Note that it is different from being pre-QUALIFIED. Pre-qualifying is just the first step. It gives you an idea of how much of a loan you'll likely qualify for. Pre-approval is the second step, a conditional commitment by a lender to actually grant you the mortgage. If you have done step three, your REALTOR® will know of a lender or lenders who are competent and trustworthy. We recommend Barry Goldenberg of Luxury Mortgage for most of our buyers transactions.

5. Draw up your house shopping list and go shopping
Decide what you want and what you need in your next home. Your REALTOR® can then find homes for you to tour. If you like, you could do your own virtual touring online.

6. Make an offer!
This is it! Time to pull the trigger on the home of your dreams. Your REALTOR® can advise you of what price to offer. In the Hudson Valley, many neighborhood markets are crowded with buyers and not too many houses. You'll want your offer to stand out, even if it's not full-priced.

7. Get a Home Inspection
Your offer has been accepted! Congratulations but don't bust out the bubbly just yet. It's time to get down to the nitty gritty and see just what this new "home" of yours looks like without makeup. Hire a home inspector and have them do a top to bottom inspection of any faults or failings this house has below the shingles.

8. Get an appraisal
Not the same as an inspection. The appraisal is for the lender to schedule. The lender wants to see if this house you've picked out is worth what you think it is. A bank will issue a loan only for the appraised value of a property.

9. Close the deal!
If your loan is approved, the bank will schedule a day for you to sign all the paperwork necessary to complete the purchase. Don't forget to take the keys!

10. Call the friend or relative who has the pickup truck, 'cause you're MOVIN' IN!


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Global Property Systems
Vanessa Saunders MBA MIMC CIPS - NYS RE Principal Broker
56 Lafayette Avenue Suite 320
White Plains, NY 10603
914-290-5258

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