2016 will soon be here. At this time of the year, many people make resolutions about things they want to change and goals they want to achieve over the next year. The most common resolutions are to lose weight, get organized, and spend less. Sadly only 8% of those making a resolution actually achieve their goal.
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to purchase a home, this checklist will help you beat the odds for realizing your dream of homeownership.
- Check Your Credit
- You can get your credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com. This is the only website authorized by federal law to provide a free credit report. Correct any errors by following the credit reporting agencies guidelines.
- Find A Lender
- Find a local lender or mortgage broker that you feel comfortable working with. They will help you determine how much home you can afford. You can ask family and friends for recommendations or use a site like Angie’s list which scores service providers based on actual client reviews.
- Research Areas Online
- Use a variety of online tools to research neighborhoods to help narrow down your search before you begin looking at individual homes. Sites such as ZipWho (http://zipwho.com) offer basic demographic information while Neighborhood Scout (http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/neighborhoods/) can provide more in-depth information, some of which requires a paid subscription.
- Research schools using sites like National Center for Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/schoolsearch/) or GreatSchools (http://www.greatschools.org/).
- Find An Agent
- You could work directly with the listing agent, but remember in North Carolina, the listing agent works for the seller and has a fiduciary responsibility to them. As a buyer you want to work with a real estate agent who represents only you. An Exclusive Buyer’s Agent works only for the buyer, never the seller. They can also assist in finding a lender.
- Find Your Home
- Your Exclusive Buyer’s Agent will schedule home tours and be with you as you narrow down your selection. Once you have found the right home, your agent will work with you to determine the right offer price and negotiate the deal. Your agent will assist with home inspections and any additional negotiations that may arise as a result of the inspections.
- Closing and the Keys to Your Home
- The final step to purchasing your home is known as the Closing. You will be signing loan documents if the purchase is financed, while the seller will be signing the documentation to transfer the property to you. Once this has been completed a member of the law firm will file the deed with the county. Once the deed is filed the property is yours.
Congratulations! You completed your New Year’s Resolution.
If you’re shopping for a home in the greater Wilmington, NC area, including Wrightsville Beach, Figure Eight Island, Kure Beach or along the Intracoastal Waterway, contact Linda at 910.409.3519 or by email: Linda@LindaMehner.com. I am a consumer advocate, not a sales person and I will research and provide you with the pertinent information you need to make well-informed choices.