How Can I Keep Track Of All The Homes I See?

 

There are some great tips in this video, like:

if possible, take photographs of each house: the outside, the major rooms, the yard and extra features that you like or ones you see as potential problems.

Write things down as you go. And don’t hesitate to return for a second look.

Use the HUD Home Scorecard (www.hud.gov/buying/checklist.pdf) to organize your photos and notes for each house.

What Should I Look For When Walking Through A Home?

 

As we show you in this video, in addition to comparing the home to your minimum requirement and wish lists use the HUD Home Scorecard and consider the following:

  • Is there enough room for both the present and the future?
  • Are there enough bedrooms and bathrooms?
  • Is the house structurally sound?
  • Do the mechanical systems and appliances work?
  • Is the yard big enough?
  • Do you like the floor plan?
  • Will your furniture fit in the space?
  • Is there enough storage space?

Bring a tape measure to better answer these questions and write down your measurements.

  • Does anything need to repaired or replaced?
  • Will the seller repair or replace the items?

Imagine the house in good weather and bad and in each season. Will you be happy with it year-round? Take your time and think carefully about each house you see. Keep the scorecard and notes for each one.

What Does A Home Inspector Do, And How Does An Inspection Figure In The Purchase Of A Home?

 

As we show you in this video, an inspector checks the safety of your potential new home.

Home Inspectors focus especially on the structure, construction and mechanical systems of the house and will make you aware of only repairs that are needed.

The Inspector does not evaluate whether or not you’re getting good value for your money.

Generally, an inspector checks (and gives estimates for repairs on):

  • the electrical system
  • plumbing and waste disposal
  • the water heater
  • insulation and ventilation
  • the heating and AC system
  • water source and quality
  • the potential presence of pests
  • the foundation, doors, windows, ceilings, walls, floors, and roof.

Be sure to hire a home inspector that is qualified and experienced. It’s a good idea to have an inspection before you sign a written offer since once the deal is closed you’ve bought the house as-is.

What Questions Should I Ask When Looking At Homes?

 

As you’ll see in this video, many of your questions should focus on potential problems and maintenance issues.

Does anything need to be replaced? What things require ongoing maintenance like paint, roof, heating and AC, appliances and carpet?

Also ask about the house and neighborhood focusing on quality of life issues. Be sure the seller’s or real estate agent’s answers are clear and complete.

Like the video says, ask questions until you understand all of the information they’ve given.

Making a list of questions ahead of time will help you organize your thoughts and arrange all of the information you receive. The HUD Home Scorecard can help you develop your question list and keep a record for each potential home.

How Can I Find Out Information About My Credit History?

 

Watch this video and take a few notes! There are three major credit reporting companies:

  • Equifax – www.equifax.com 1-800-685-1111
  • Experian – www.experian.com 1-888-397-3742
  • Trans Union – www.transunion.com 1-800-916-8800

Obtaining your credit history is as easy as calling and requesting one. Once you receive the report, it’s important to verify its accuracy.

How Are Pre-Qualifying And Pre-Approval Different?

 

Watch this video and it’ll make sense.

Pre-qualification is an informal way to see how much you maybe able to borrow. You can be ‘pre-qualified’ over the phone with no paperwork by telling a lender your income, your long-term debts and how large a down payment you can afford. Without any obligation, this helps you arrive at a ballpark figure of the amount you may have available to spend on a house.

Pre-approval is a lender’s actual commitment to lend to you. It involves assembling financial records and going through a preliminary approval process. Pre-approval gives you a definite idea of what you can afford and shows sellers that you are serious about buying.

What Is A Credit Bureau Score And How Do Lenders Use Them?

 

As we show you in this video, a credit bureau score, or “credit score” is a number based upon your credit history that represents the possibility that you will be unable to repay a loan.

Lenders use it to determine your ability to qualify for a mortgage loan.

The better the score, the better your chances are of getting a favorable loan.

Know your score and ensure that lenders have current information about it.

How Do Lenders Decide The Maximum Loan Amount That Buyers Can Afford?

 

As you’ll see in the video, the lenders consider your debt-to-income ratio, which is a comparison of your gross (pre-tax) income to housing and non-housing expenses.

Non-housing expenses include such long-term debts as car or student loan payments, alimony, or child support.

According to the FHA, monthly mortgage payments should be no more than 29% of gross income, while the mortgage payment, combined with non-housing expenses, should total no more than 41% of income.
Lenders also consider cash available for down payment and closing costs credit history and the rest of your financial picture when determining your maximum loan amount.

How Does Purchasing A Home Compare With Renting?

 

Like the guy in the video says, the two don’t really compare at all.

The one advantage of renting is being generally free of most maintenance responsibilities. But by renting, you lose the chance to build equity take advantage of tax benefits and protect yourself against rent increases.Also, you may be at the mercy of the landlord for housing.

Owning a home has many benefits. When you make a mortgage payment, you are building equity increasing YOUR net worth.
Owning a home also qualifies you for tax breaks that assist you in dealing with your new financial responsibilities like insurance, real estate taxes, and upkeep which can be substantial. But given the freedom, stability, and security of owning your own home they are worth it.

How Do I Begin The Process Of Buying A Home?

 

Remember these pointers from the video: start by thinking about your situation.

  • Are you ready to buy a home?
  • How much can you afford in a monthly mortgage payment?
  • How much space do you need?
  • What areas of town do you like?

After you answer these questions, make a “To Do” list and start doing casual research. Talk to friends and family, drive through neighborhoods, and look in the “Homes” section of the newspaper, or online.