Buying real estate in Tam O’ Shanter isn’t as easy as a game of Monopoly. Although, how fantastic would that be? Not only could you simply hand over some cash and get a home, you’d also likely get to bypass one of our biggest issues: low inventory. However, buying real estate in Tam O’ Shanter is not a game. In fact, it is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your life. So how exactly should you go about it? I broke down the process in 10 steps.
1: Choose a qualified Tam O’ Shanter realtor.
This is absolutely the most important first step in buying a home for sale in Tam O’ Shanter. As the local neighborhood specialist, I am able to tell you what the current market conditions are, which is pertinent information that guides your buying decision. I also know of seller’s who have homes for sale in Tam O’ Shanter that are not listed. When you choose someone who is not familiar with the area, you risk not getting the correct market information as well as potentially missing out on being connected with a seller that simply hasn’t put their home in the NWMLS. Also, be sure you are picking someone who has your best interest at heart, is honest and timely in their communication. Your Realtor is your advocate.
2: Find a lender
Once you have chosen your Tam O’ Shanter realtor, you need to find a lender. Your realtor will likely have some recommendations as we work closely with mortgage brokers and title companies. This part is important as the company you select is overseeing the financial part of this transaction. You want someone who is competitive with rates, can communicate effectively and is available. You do not want to feel like just another file.
3: Clean up your credit
Ideally, this is something you have been working on for a year or so prior to getting serious about buying Tam O’ Shanter real estate. However, if you haven’t, your lender can offer guidance on any issues with your credit score. Whether it is big or small, they can let you know how others have repaired their score with situations that are similar to yours. The better the credit, the better the loan and interest rate. Interest rates are on the rise, but you still have time to get a good loan within the year. Make this a priority if you are serious about buying real estate in Tam O’ Shanter.
4: Apply for mortgage pre-approval
Once your credit is good to go, get pre-approved. This is different from pre-qualified in that you actually are approved and know how much you can spend on a home for sale in Tam O’ Shanter. Sellers will also consider you a serious buyer and consider your offer over someone who is simply pre-qualified. With this competitive market, the median days on market for our neighborhood is 7. The buyer demand is high, so if you come prepared and ready to go, you stand to have a higher chance of getting your offer accepted compared to someone who still doesn’t know what their actual home buying budget is.
5: Create a wish list
This is not the same wish list from your Pinterest board. This is based on your actual NEEDS like bed, bath, how many levels, proximity to certain schools, amenities, etc. You can create another section for wants, but these are areas you are willing to compromise on. This helps you narrow down your choices. With today’s seller market, if it has the beds you want in the neighborhood you want AND it is in your budget? Don’t wait. In a buyer’s market, these lists are really helpful. As you may feel like you have too many choices.
6: See what is out there
Home shopping is exciting so this part is fun! This is where your Tam O’ Shanter real estate agent gives you a list of active homes that fit your criteria and you get to go tour them to see if they really fit your needs. Be sure to jot down notes and pros and cons of each home you visit.
7: Make an offer
Once you find a home you like, your realtor will guide you through the process of making an offer on the home. This includes paperwork, an earnest money check (this is an act of good faith to the seller letting them know you are serious) and any contingencies. There will likely be negotiations so be sure to discuss competitive offers with your Realtor in Tam O’ Shanter.
8: Get a home inspection
Do not do a disservice to yourself and skip the inspection in order to close faster or make your offer more appealing. This could cost you more in the long run if the home has faulty wiring, needs a new roof or has other spendy repairs lurking below the surface. Knowing if the home has some fixes actually gives you negotiating power and can lower the purchase price costs if the home owner doesn’t want to do the repairs himself.
9: Get final mortgage approval
After the offer is accepted by the seller, your lender will work with you to get the final approval for the closing date. This process may require that you pay property taxes or homeowners insurance for the first year at closing. It is important to note that when you are in escrow, it is definitely not the time to make any big purchases. One, it can affect your debt to income ratio which impacts your LOAN. Not to mention, closing costs aren’t cheap.
10: Closing time
This is the final step where the deed to the home is transferred. Most transactions vary, but there is usually a lot of paperwork with someone guiding you through the process. Next step is keys and voila- welcome home!
For more information on real estate in Tam O’ Shanter, give me a call. I would be happy to discuss how both the buying and selling process works.