A house is shelter, but a home is far more. It's where you live, relax, entertain friends, raise families, and work. A home is where you spend much of your life, and so choosing a house is an enormous decision. How do you know if a house is THE one? Probably the best approach is to look at as many homes as possible, and do online research through the NWMLS website, where you can quickly and easily view huge numbers of homes, check prices, take virtual tours and view neighborhood information.
Can you really afford it?
Remember Step 2 - the pre-approval process? Getting pre-approved means you have a very good idea of how much you can borrow, what loan programs will most likely work best in your situation and how much home you can afford. How reliable is a pre-approval? While pre-approval is not a loan commitment, it's still necessary for lenders to check such items as credit reports, income and asset documentation. Despite fluctuating interest rates, pre-approval nonetheless provides a reasoned, careful analysis of what you can afford. After all, loan originators are typically paid only when loans are originated. It doesn't make much sense for loan officers to suggest high loan limits that later can't be delivered.
There's no doubt that choosing a home is a big decision and you want to do it right. As a buyer, here's what will happen. A home has been placed on the market for which the seller has established an asking price as well as other terms. In effect, this is an offer. At this point, you have three choices: accept the seller's offer and create a contract; reject it and not make an offer; or suggest different terms and make a counter-offer. If you choose this last option, the seller may accept, reject or make a counter-offer. This part of the home purchase process is complex, personal and variable with the bargaining going back and forth between buyers and sellers. This is the point where the value of an experienced Broker is clearly evident because he or she knows the community, has seen numerous homes for sale, knows local values and has spent years negotiating transactions