If you’re like many Americans, buying a gorgeous Pacific Northwest home of your own is an important value and a longtime goal.
For many of us who love living in Northwest Washington, home ownership is much more than just an investment, it’s a sense of belonging. Recent changes in the housing market mean lots of opportunities for new homebuyers, but changes in the lending industry mean you must educate yourself and have your financial affairs in order if you want to purchase a home.
Visions of coming home each day to your own Pacific Northwest home have “The American Dream” written all over them – but how do you properly prepare for such an important step?
I’ll go into further details on first-time home ownership in future posts, but for now, here are some helpful tips to prepare you for this monumental decision:
1. Educate yourself about the home-buying process by attending a first-time home buyer’s class, doing research online or at the library, and talking with trusted friends or family members about their own home-buying experience. Even better, contact me for a Free Pacific Northwest Home-Buying Guide.
First-time home buyers are frequently surprised at how many steps are involved in buying a home, and how complicated it can be at times. Having a basic knowledge of the process will help you feel more at ease during the entire transaction, and knowing what to look out for will help you make wiser choices along the way. Having an expert Pacific Northwest realtor help you from the very beginning will also make a huge difference in your home-buying experience.
2. Get a clear picture of your finances by putting together an accurate list of income, expenses, debt, and monthly payments.
For some of us, this can be a daunting task. It’s not always easy to honestly assess where we’re at financially, especially if our financial decisions didn’t always reflect our long-term goal of home ownership. Take a deep breath, and dive on in – the first step toward healthier spending and saving habits is taking a good hard look at where you’re at now.
3. Find a local lender you feel comfortable with and get pre-approved for a home loan.
Ask around – whether people have had wonderful or poor experiences with a lender, they will have no problem sharing their impressions with you of Pacific Northwest lenders. In general, look for a loan officer who is willing to explain the fine print to you, who will take time to make sure you understand what you’re signing. A good mortgage lender should look at your financial status, using that information to help you establish a comfortable monthly payment amount, choose financing options that best fit your needs, and address any debt or savings issues that need to be resolved.
This is where I come in. Dedicated and personally invested in each one of my clients, I am committed to helping homebuyers get the best Northwest Washington homes they can, at a price that helps protect their future livelihood. An expert on Pacific Northwest real estate, I love answering questions about everything from the home-buying process to finding good neighborhoods in Whatcom, Skagit, Island, and San Juan Counties. I even offer a no-hassle free Pacific Northwest MLS home search.