The key to a successful home purchase is preparation

As with most activities, preparation makes a big difference in the outcome.  When buying a home, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

How much can I afford to pay and still pay my other bills and meet my other financial goals.

What do I really “need” in my new home?  What is a “want.”  Wants are often optional and always more expensive.

Is the new home closer or further from my work.  If further, did you take into account the extra cost of commute?

What does the surrounding neighborhood look like and is it changing?

How long do I see myself being there?

The next preparation is a financial one.

Gather your last 2 years w2 statements, your last month’s paystubs, the last 2 months bank statements and go visit your local lender.  If you don’t have one, I know a great one in the Boise, Idaho area!

Your mortgage loan officer will look at your income and assets and come up with an amount and loan program that will meet your needs.  You’ll probably want to have them run your credit report to make sure its in order as well.

When your mortgage loan officer has all three, he can run a pre-approval and give you a mortgage pre-approval letter.  Having a mortgage pre-approval letter will make your home offer more attractive to the home seller.  In many cases, a mortgage pre-approval letter is mandatory when making offers on government or bank owned homes.

The next preparation is to find yourself a Realtor you want to work with.  It seems that you can find a Realtor anywhere you go, but finding the right Realtor is vital to have a successful and positive experience buying a home.  You could call the agent who has a sign in front of the house you are interested in, but their duty is to the seller who listed the home with them.  They will probably be happy to show you the home and may be the greatest
realtor in the world, but remember, their duty is to the seller.  Anything to tell them, they are required to report it back to the seller.

This is why you should get your own Realtor, a buyer’s agent.  If you need the name of a great Boise are Realtor, I work with many great agents.  Each one has their own uniqueness, abilities, and personalities.  You will be spending a lot of time with your Realtor, so choose wisely.  A great Realtor will be one you will use again on the next house and would be one you could refer to friends and family.

When you make your offer on a home and get it accepted, then the real fun starts.  You have to set a deadline for closing and during that time many things will have to happen to make it close on time.  You probably should spend the money on a professional home inspection, it could turn up an expensive defect in the home.  You also should make arrangements  for utilities , mail forwarding, moving help, and final walk through.  When your loan is past final underwriting, you can set an appointment with the Escrow company to do your signing.  Having a few days notice to get off of work early or take a long lunch is helpful.  Escrow is done during business hours so plan on taking some time or ever the day off if possible.  It’s good practice to let your supervisor know that you are going to need a little time off soon to close on your house.

Once you close on your home, its yours.  You’ll probably have a lot of moving and unpacking to do, but that’s a subject for another post.

As you can see, with so much to do, its vital to be prepared or else it can be a very stressful experience!  If you need help getting ready to buy and are in Idaho, feel free to contact me.

Best of Luck!


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