If you’re thinking about buying a Fountain Hills home this spring season, smart move! The Census Bureau released their 2017 fourth quarter median rent numbers, and they’re not pretty. Rents have been steadily increasing since 1988 and show no signs of stopping. If you’d like to switch to homeownership, and lock in a fixed monthly mortgage, I can help as your Fountain Hills real estate agent!
Here’s a step-by-step guide for preparing to buy:
1. Figure out your finances. Before meeting with a mortgage lender, it’s wise to go over your finances on your own first, to see where you stand. Find out if your credit score is up to par for loan qualification. Make a down payment plan and see how much you have saved. Determine how much you can afford, realistically. Lenders look for a total debt load of no more than 43 percent of your gross monthly income. It’s also wise to go over your income and expenses on your own and see how much you actually want to spend each month on mortgage payments. You don’t have to take the highest loan amount offered! Collect loan paperwork and make an appointment with a mortgage lender to get pre-approved for a loan, which many sellers now require from a buyer.
2. Decide on a dream home. Whether you’re looking for a starter home or your perfect home, do some research and write down the features of your ideal home in the Fountain Hills real estate market. How many bedrooms must your home have? How important is a big backyard, or an open floor plan, or an office? Where would be an ideal location and why? Contact me, your Fountain Hills real estate agent, for information on the current market in Fountain Hills. I can help you determine what type of house you can afford based on recent sales, so you’re not dreaming of houses that are out of your budget. No need to waste time or experience heartache when working with a professional!
3. Start your home search. Once you’re pre-approved for a loan, and you’ve nailed down your budget and what you’re looking for, the fun begins! You can start browsing the Fountain Hills real estate market for homes that fit your needs, and I will send you listings that I think are a good fit. Once you find some homes you like, we can set up showings, visit open houses, etc. until you choose a home you love. That is when it’s time to start putting down offers and potentially counter-bids until hopefully, the seller accepts your offer. Then comes a home inspection, filling out documents and so on, until you receive the keys to your new Fountain Hills home at the closing!
The home-buying process can seem overwhelming, which is why it’s so important to work with reliable, experienced Fountain Hills real estate agent who knows the local market and knows how to negotiate on your behalf! With inventory lower than average right now, it’s not the time to do it alone. If you have questions, or you’re ready to get started, contact me!