How not to buy a home

Contact An Agent

First, we go driving all over town to find all the houses we would like to live in and burn $50 in gas. We pay for take-out since we didn’t get home until late because we got lost, twice. Next, we try to remember where all these houses were and try to contact an agent to put in an offer on the one we like the most. Since the one we wanted just went under contract because we were not fast enough, we put an offer in for our second choice. The seller likes our offer and asks for a pre-approval letter from the bank, oops.

After going to the third bank, we get pre-approved for a loan, but it is not for enough to buy the house we wanted and we don’t have enough money to meet the purchase price; bye-bye second choice. Now we are getting aggravated. Let’s put an offer on the third and fourth choices. The third choice seller takes our offer. We negotiate the finer details and set a closing date. Hurray for us.

Two days before closing, the attorney calls and says the bank changed their policy last week and we no longer qualify for the loan. We can’t qualify for a loan now because our credit score dropped from all the other banks pulling our credit.

This scenario can be typical if you’re not careful. Here are some things to know about buying your first or next home:

  • Know your credit score and your finances and make the bank tell you if your numbers are good enough to qualify. (Example) “I want to buy a house listed for $120,000. I have a 620 credit score and I make $5500 per month income. Based on these numbers, should I qualify for a loan with your bank?” Of course they have to verify to approve you, but this cuts down the disappointments and the credit inquiries.
  • Have a pre-approval letter from the bank ready. There are a lot more buyers than sellers right now and sellers are tired of “false alarms”.
  • Do most of your searches on-line. Google maps can give you directions and a street view of almost any house you want. Each listing gives enough information to know if the house is worth driving to. Pick four or five houses in the same area and call one of the listing agents for an appointment to open all of them in one day. Next time, drive a different area using one of the listing agents from those houses. Don’t be loyal to one agent until you find one you like doing business with.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions, no matter how silly it may sound. You’re buying the house, not them.
  • Get a home inspection and be at the house when they inspect it. Your presence there will keep the inspector from “pencil whipping” the inspection.

The easier way to buy a home, of course, is through us. Our Smooth Selling Program is designed to help families that can’t get financing become homeowners through a lease to buy process. All the houses we sell come with owner financing available. This takes the hassle of bank lending out of the process. Once you qualify for the program, we match you with a mortgage broker that works with you until you do qualify. In the meantime, you live in the home you choose under a lease. This way, you don’t have to watch your dream home get bought by someone else. Come see what we mean.