Monday, March 18, 2013

1, 2, 3 Buy a House! How to buy a house in Albuquerque

BUY A HOUSE - 1, 2, 3!

Seems simple enough doesn't it? Start driving around, call on some signs, look on the Internet, call on some that you see....try to get a Realtor to show you some houses........start again.

The next week, you start getting call backs from all of those Realtors that you called the week before. You can't really remember what you saw, so you start driving around again, then you quit answering your phone because of the calls you are getting from all of these Realtors calling you back - what were you doing again?

Let's start again, look at houses on some real estate websites, inquire about answers...oh wait, there's your phone ringing again - on the house you just saw on the internet, or was it from someone that you called last week? What did you see again? What were your favorites?

Oh, finally see a house that you like!? Great! Ready to make an offer..and who is going to help you? The Realtor that you called on the sign, one of the others you bumped into? Wait, you need to get prequalified with a lender? How do you do that? Can't you do that after you find the perfect house? Oh wait! That house just sold to someone did that happen?

Sound disorganized? IT IS!

Most people start out the process in exactly the wrong order. They think it's like shopping for tomorrow's dinner, or next week's vacation package. Absolutely not! It is one of the most important investments of your life, so doesn't it deserve the right process?

Here is the correct and best way to begin the journey of buying your home:

CONTACT A LENDER - get in touch with a good local lender who you trust. This might be your personal banker's referral to their mortgage department. It might be someone that you have been referred to by a trusted financial advisor. Sit down with that lender and interview them, or get in contact with them via their website. See how they communicate with you and establish a dialogue with them to see if they are a good fit for your schedule and your personality. Some lenders will have on-line applications, some will require you to come to their office. It's going to be a complicated process, so be sure and establish a connection with someone who communicates well with you and prepares you for the application process.

Why start here? Simple - when you find the perfect house, you can't write an offer without one. You will NOT have the time to get prequalified once you find the perfect house. I promise. You won't. Sometimes this process of prequalification takes a few days if not a week. Yes, you can have a credit report run, simple enough. But to get to the deep recesses of your loan approval you will need to be providing income statements (no more stated income loans), employment verification, corporate returns....and the more of this you have completed up front the more 'approved' you are going to be. A seller looks for an approved, no hassle closing...and you want to be that buyer. It can sometimes mean quite a good discount off the price of the house you are wanting to buy just by being a loan approved buyer.

FIND A REALTOR - just like the loan officer, you are going to want to have a trusted relationship with a qualified Realtor. Get some recommendations from friends, surf the Internet and find a broker site that you like the feel of. A good Realtor website is often a good indication of the abilities of the broker behind it. An experienced Realtor reflects their abilities in their public image. Make a few phone calls and schedule an in-office appointment with some Realtors. Ask them how they work, what their experience is, what techniques do they use to help you through the transaction? It isn't just about finding the house, it's about protecting your interest throughout the transaction, communication throughout the transaction and making sure that they have your back. If you are a long distance buyer, make an on-line appointment with a Realtor, see if they have video conferencing or web meetings available. Ask if they use cloud based programs to make your signing of documents easy and stress free.

Once you have the two items covered - LET'S GET IT STARTED! Let's go find a house.

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