Not every market is the same. In the Grand Strand of Myrtle Beach, there are so many selections to choose from. There are plenty of new constructions going on all the time that makes decision making difficult since prices are not at all far apart. As everyone knows, a house is not an impulse purchase; you can't just waltz in and declare "I'll take it!" Long before you get to making that offer (on paper, through your real estate agent)—and even before going to your first open house—there are a ton of things to do and to prepare. Overwhelmed? Here's a checklist of everything you need to do to get ready to buy a home.
1. Check your credit score
Do not pass "Go," do not start browsing homes until you have checked your credit score. This is the number that mortgage lenders will look at to determine whether you are “creditworthy,” and thus dictates the rates you will get. The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate—and that’s what you’re going for. Get a free copy of yours at AnnualCreditReport.com to see where you stand.
2. Clean up any credit blemishes you can
Any surprises on that report? Credit errors are more common than you might think, so contact the credit bureau to correct any erroneous information. Got credit that's less than stellar? Check out these (totally legit!) tricks to boost your score fast and nab great rates.
3. Shop for a mortgage lender
“A prospective home buyer should make one of their earliest stops with a mortgage originator to see if they can qualify for a mortgage and confirm how much of a mortgage they can afford,” says Realtor® Steve Ujvagi with Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners. Different mortgage shops offer a wide variety of rates and programs, so shop around to find the best rate and mortgage option for you.
4. Secure mortgage pre-approval
Once you've found the mortgage that's right for you, you'll want to show sellers that you have what it takes to buy their home. In hot markets, a pre-approval is almost required for a seller to take your offer seriously. That’s because it spells out exactly how much a lender has agreed to loan you, thus assuring the seller that you’re both willing and able. To get the best rates, you'll need to make at least a 20% down payment on a home. With the current median home price of $306,700, that comes to $61,340. That's a lot of money! Check out these smart ideas to help you save for a down payment. But if that amount is out of reach, don't worry—most people put down less.
Once you're ramping up to buy a home, it's wise to not make any—we repeat, any—major changes in your life or, most important, your finances.
“Do not switch jobs. Do not buy a new car. Do not even buy furniture or apply for a new credit card, which could affect your credit," says Ujvagi. "Just a credit pull alone from a car dealership or a furniture store is enough to affect your credit score and could cause you to lose your dream home."
5. Save up for a down payment
6. Find a real estate agent like Eva Rigney who is a professional realtor with QUAS Realty www.quasrealty.com
There's no reason to go it alone—having an agent helping you can make the whole process much easier.
In our time, with a limited number of homes on the market, a buyer needs a great Realtorlike Eva Rigney who is a professional realtor with QUAS Realty www.quasrealty.com to make sure you find your dream home.,
7. Make a wish list
Of course, this list may be a very long one, but you need to be realistic about what elements are truly “wishes" and which ones are nonnegotiable—such as number of bedrooms, a fenced yard for a pet, a specific school district, walking distance to the bus stop, etc. Sometimes it’s helpful to divide your list into three categories: Those nonnegotiable elements, followed by items that would be nice to have (e.g., a bonus room or home office) and your dream features (e.g., in-ground swimming pool).
8. Lastly, Check out the hood
You’ve undoubtedly heard the adage “location, location, location.” What that essentially means is that you’re not just buying the property you’re looking at; you’re also buying into the whole neighborhood. That’s why you have to be certain that it has the vibe you want. Savvy home buyers know that the best way to find out more about the neighborhood is to meet the neighbors and then visit at various times of the day and night to see what it’s really like.
Buying a Home is one of the biggest purchase of your lifetime, if not the biggest. So, it is important that you have an expert in real estate. Any major purchase requires research, careful analysis, consideration, and thought. Home buying isn't any different! Determining the right location, the number of bedrooms or bathrooms needed, and outdoor space is the easier things. However, there are many other factors to think about in your home search. From your initial search to the moment you get the keys to your new home, we will be there, guiding you through the process. We can even help connect you with mortgage professionals to get the best rates.
As Myrtle Beach area real estate experts, we can help educate you on the different neighborhoods, schools, and other local community amenities that suit your lifestyle.
We make buying a home easy. As your buying agents, we can help streamline the process of buying a home and make it easier for you. We're aligned with the top professionals in the industry, and once an offer has been accepted, we will personally help facilitate the process to close on the home. By working closely with mortgage brokers, title and escrow companies, home inspectors, and home warranty companies we will provide you with the best service possible!
Curious about what’s happening in your neighborhood? You can create a custom market report to see what’s active, under contract, and sold in your neighborhood!
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Questions? Contact us today to find out how we can be of assistance to you!