6 Steps to the HomeBuying Process

Is a new home in your sights for 2017? Has your family out grown your current space and you find that you are in need of a speed of life update? Or have they moved to their own space awarding you an empty nest and a desire to have less maintenance and more time for enjoying this new season of life.

unknownWhatever the reason for why you may be considering a new home this year, here are a few steps that will make the process easier and help you navigate the right place for your needs.

1. Get Your Financials in Order.

If you’re going to need a mortgage, this would be a time to prepare to begin your application process. One of the first things any lender will need to do is check your credit rating. Higher scores usually help you to qualify for a lower interest rate, allowing more buying power.

The highest credit score on the FICO scale is 850. While you don’t need a perfect score, the higher it is the easier to qualify for a home mortgage. In 2014, the minimum credit score required by most major lenders dropped to 580. We recommend that you speak with a local lender(s) early in the process to obtain an accurate assessment based on your circumstances. We are happy to provide you with several local lenders we are partnered with. E-Mail us to get connected.

Under federal law, everyone is entitled to a one free credit report each year.  Click here to begin the process of obtaining this FREE detailed report showing how you’ve managed your credit over time. If your credit rating is poor, start working to perfect it immediately — before you go house hunting. We offer a complimentary consultation to help get your pointed in the right direction. E-Mail us.

2. Meet with a Lender and Get Approved. (It only takes a phone call to begin).

A pre-approval letter from your lender lets you and your Realtor® know the price range that will be affordable for you. The market is great now in many areas and most sellers are not interested in speaking with a buyer until they have been pre-approved by a mortgage company.

The financial institution where you bank or an independent mortgage broker can be very helpful  as you compare mortgage rates and fees. While the interest rate is the biggest single item you’ll be looking at, there are other fees involved and you will want to be prepared.

3. Find a REALTOR® to Represent You and Your Interests

imagesYou have likely been searching listings on the Internet and we encourage you to familiarize yourself with communities in areas where you are interested in living. We highly recommend the National Association of Realtors site to search because all listings are updated daily. Drive through communities of interest on various days and times and check out the surrounding areas. You are not just buying a home, you are investing in a community.

We are Realtors® in the Savannah, GA, and would love to have a 10-15 minute phone consultation with you to help you get started. We offer a Nationwide Referral Service and can get you connected to an agent locally, regardless of where you live in the US, at no cost to you. Contact us.

First, make a list of your Top 5 Must Haves: (Each spouse / partner can have their own).

  1. For information on Local Schools Click here.
  2. How close do you need to be to a doctor or pharmacy?
  3. Do you want amenities within walking distance or merely minutes away?
  4. What does the commute look like from the property? This should be considered part of your housing costs.
  5. Will you want to be in a community that has a swimming pool or playground?
  6. Do you know how a Home Owner’s Association (HOA) will affect you? Click here.

4. Start house shopping, boots on the ground

After you have been out with your Realtor® seeing property, you may find you need to revisit the priorities you developed in step three. It may be tempting to want to stretch your budget a bit to buy something a little more expensive. Resist the idea of having the “perfect” house. Aim toward an 80/20 love/tolerate rule of thumb. Often, the extra things you’re missing may just call for some delayed gratification. Buy a home that you are happy about today and will be just as satisfied with in 5+ years.

images-15. Prepare an offer

Your agent should be able to offer you invaluable advice in this part of the process. They’ll also have information about how long the house has been on the market and may have a feeling for how motivated the seller is.  It’s important to listen to your agent, and be totally honest with him / her. You will be the one living in the home and making the payments.  A great agent will negotiate your desires for you and protect your interests.

6. Invest in a Home Inspection

Unless you’re a contractor, you probably aren’t trained to look at the house in the same way an inspector is. That odd bulge in the floor could be nothing, or it could mean problems that will end up costing more than you plan to repair. The inspector (your agent can provide recommendations) will go over the house and provide a full report of his / her findings. This will be an out-of-pocket expense for you to the tune of around $350-600 depending on square footage.

***Do not fall in love with the house until the day you close on it! Be willing to back out if you find a lot of concerns that could lead to significant expense. It’s not easy to pull back when you’ve come this far, but you will have gained a lot more knowledge of what you want and need and what you are willing to incur in the way of costs.

Wrap up: We encourage you to send us an email with any questions you may have. There is No Obligation and we will respond!

images-2     We create our tomorrows by the choices we make TODAY!

Today could be your day! Call or Email us.

Sheri and Jeff Geyer are Realtors® on The Geyer Home Team in Pooler, GA.

Cultivate a Winning Mindset

Our mindset can be defined as our belief system or the way we are programmed to think or operate. It is effectively our operating system!

It has been said that “success is a one-degree change”, and we know that change is an action. Mindset is not just about thinking differently; knowing or thinking differently requires us to act by applying what we learn. Even being willing isn’t all that is needed, we must actually make the effort needed to operate differently. Essentially, once we “know better, we can choose to do better”.

Many of us may struggle daily with negative thoughts or mindsets that are challenging, such as: stress, worry, anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, procrastination, irritation, anger, frustration, comparing ourselves to others, wishing things or people would be different, feeling offended, loneliness, fear of failure, wishing we could lose weight, gain muscle or be more shapely, feeling controlled, wanting to find the right person or wishing our partner could be more perfect, financial issues, ignoring problems we need to face, uncertain about choices, rushing from one task to the next, not liking our jobs, and / or a variety of other concerns.

In many cases these problems are self-created.

They’re real, but our tricky minds have created them. The problems are in our heads and are created by a particular ideal or expectation of how we hope the world would be but are afraid it won’t be. These mindsets can negatively impact much of our lives.

To change possible patterns that have helped to create our belief system, we can practice mentally letting go of all of the things that potentially set us on a downward spiral, and focus on this moment. It offers an opportunity to focus on God, who never changes. This realization can empower us to have courage to choose to cherish this moment. We can effectively let go of all of the anchors that bind us to the past, our fears, our disappointments or offenses and be able to relinquish whatever we need to, so we can cultivate our winning mindset.

Like exercise, starting slow and simple, we can build up over time. A rule-of-thumb for a one-degree change in a ship’s course is “1 in 60” i.e., for every 60 miles out at sea, it will then be off course by one mile… and for a 1000 miles out the variance in where it is heading would be off course by 16.7 miles. Small but definitely significant!

A simple change in your mindset (believing you can over believing you can’t) will help you be able to replace old and ineffective patterns with refreshing new ones and ultimately provide you with hope for a brighter future. And hope can fuel your mindset for a long time!

Or you can go back to worrying about everything else if you choose.

Sheri & Jeff Geyer are Realtors® on The Geyer Home Team at Rawls Realty in Pooler GA.

We would love to hear from you. E-mail Us.