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“Mise en Place” for Homebuying
In cooking, “mise en place” describes having all your ingredients measured, cut, peeled, sliced, grated, as well as bowls, utensils and pans ready to use before you begin cooking. The advantage is to inventory the ingredients and recognize if you have everything you need. You are less likely to leave out an ingredient or step […]
“Mise en Place” for Homebuying
In cooking, “mise en place” describes having all your ingredients measured, cut, peeled, sliced, grated, as well as bowls, utensils and pans ready to use before you begin cooking. The advantage is to inventory the ingredients and recognize if you have everything you need. You are less likely to leave out an ingredient or step […]

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In cooking, “mise en place” describes having all your ingredients measured, cut, peeled, sliced, grated, as well as bowls, utensils and pans ready to use before you begin cooking. The advantage is to inventory the ingredients and recognize if you have everything you need. You are less likely to leave out an ingredient or step because it is “set up” and ready to use.

The same technique works well in the homebuying process, especially in today’s highly competitive environment where multiple offers are normal and bidding wars are commonplace.

Check your credit … not only does credit determine if you will get a mortgage, but it will also determine the interest rate you’ll pay. The best rates are for the borrowers with the best credit; lower credit scores mean higher rates because of additional risk to the lender. Free copies are available from all three major credit bureaus at www.AnnualCreditReport.com.

Determine your budget … knowing your income and immediate living expenses will give you a feel for what you can afford but you also need to know what big-ticket expenses are in the future and how much you should be saving for them. Lenders use debt to income ratios to qualify borrowers, but it may be more than the buyers feel comfortable with. This is good information to discuss with your mortgage professional.

Meet with a mortgage banker … their job is to get borrowers approved and instead of using calculators on a website, a trusted, experienced mortgage professional can look at your credit, make suggestions if it can be improved, run verifications on income, assets and liabilities and suggest loan programs to benefit your specific situation. They can even provide a pre-approval letter and phone verification that may be the tipping point to negotiating a successful contract with a seller.

Initial investment … The down payment and closing costs are related to the type of mortgage, which is generally, dependent of how much of the buyer’s savings is available. The down payment can range between zero and 20%. Mortgage insurance is necessary on most loans if the down payment is less than 20%. Buyer’s normal closing costs range between two to five percent of the mortgage.

Costs of homeownership – Most mortgage payments include the principal and interest plus 1/12 the annual property taxes and insurance plus mortgage insurance if required. Other expenses that will be incurred by the homeowner include maintenance, HOA dues, utilities, upkeep and replacement of equipment and appliances.

Process and timeline … people tend to feel more comfortable when they understand the process of buying a home and the length of time it takes for the different steps. Your real estate agent will be able to provide this information to you based on the type of mortgage and local market conditions.

Know the numbers … being familiar with the basic statistics makes planning and even, negotiation easier to predict. Important data, relative to the type of property you are buying, includes the current supply of homes for sale, days on market, sales price to list price ratio, and percent of cash sales in your price range. This is another area that your real estate professional can be very helpful.

Must-have features … the concept of a “dream home” is more myth than reality. People rarely get everything they want even when they are building a home. Especially, in a highly competitive market with rapidly increasing prices, buyers should create a list of their “must have” and “nice to have” features and amenities. This can be helpful when you are determining whether to write a contract on a home.

Build your team … buying a home is like an athletic team. By selecting the best “players” for each position, you will have a much better chance for a successful sale and a satisfactory transaction. Your real estate agent is in a unique position to guide you through the entire process and recommend trusted professionals for each job that needs to be done.

An excellent meal includes fresh, good food, the right ingredients, superb preparation, and execution. Whether you are following a recipe or doing it from memory, each step is important and affects the outcome. The same is true for buying a home. Get everything together before you start looking at homes.

For more information on buying a home, download our Buyers Guide.

LIST OF BLOGS

If you’re on the sidelines, at least get ready…

If you're on the sidelines to buy a home, there are things you can do to be ready when you do get back in the game. Improve your credit score to qualify for the best mortgage rate available which are reserved for those with the highest scores. Get a copy of your...

Negotiating Your Position

The seller wants the most for their home and the buyer wants to pay the least possible. From the very beginning of the homebuying process, there are adversarial positions between the principals. If you happen to be in a multi-offer situation, it just complicates...

Turn Back Time

As the expression goes, "if I could turn back time", maybe you'd would do some things differently. If you're wanting to buy a home, the regret may come from not getting a mortgage when rates were half of what they are today. There may not be a way to...

Buy Now, Refinance Later

The dilemma facing would-be buyers today is to wait until things settle down or move ahead in this unsettling economic environment. More specifically, the question should be, what are you waiting to settle down: mortgage rates, or prices or both? Mortgage rates...

Does high inflation discourage your from buying a home?

Inflation devalues the purchasing power of money and the interest earned on savings is almost always less than inflation. Tangible assets like your home consistently become more valuable over time. In inflationary periods, a home is a good investment and a hedge...

Did you know this about your credit?

Credit scores are used to assess risk and determine whether a borrower is approved or declined for a mortgage, credit card or some other type of credit. The score is a numerical value ranging from a low of zero to a high of 850 or 900 depending on the credit bureau....

Waiting for the Mortgage Rates to Come Down

Waiting for the mortgage rates to come down before you buy a home may not be a good decision. If you are correct, and the rates do come down by two percent, the savings you benefit from a lower rate will most likely be devoured by the appreciated price increase. As of...

Downsizing Options

Opportunities exist for a subset of homeowners, possibly in their 60's to 70's, who want to downsize to smaller homes for convenience, less maintenance, change of lifestyle, or to save money. These homeowners are more likely to have large equities and will not feel...

Concessions Make Your Home More Marketable

Sellers offer concessions as an incentive to encourage buyers to purchase their home. The concessions, paid for by the seller, benefit the buyer in ways that may be more appealing than possibly, being able to purchase the home for a lower price. In some situations,...

Building Your Home Buying Team

There are a lot of professionals involved in the homebuying process. And when these people can function as a team, the buyer is much more likely to end up where they want to be...in their new home. The lender is an integral part of the team unless you are going to be...

RECENT POSTS

Negotiating Your Position

The seller wants the most for their home and the buyer wants to pay the least possible. From the...

Turn Back Time

As the expression goes, "if I could turn back time", maybe you'd would do some things...

Buy Now, Refinance Later

The dilemma facing would-be buyers today is to wait until things settle down or move ahead in this...

Downsizing Options

Opportunities exist for a subset of homeowners, possibly in their 60's to 70's, who want to...

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