Making the decision to buy a home is the very first step in a series of decisions you will make. First Integrity suggests the following sequence:
- Determine your price range
- Determine the area(s)
- Assemble your team of experts
Determine Your Price Range
Everyone has a maximum price they can afford. Affordability is a component of the following items:
- Income ratio versus personal liabilities
- Credit score
- Available down-payment sources
We suggest that you complete an application to be pre-approved for a mortgage. A ten-minute process of applying online permits First Integrity to provide you with your personal mortgage credit scores and income-to-debt ratios. With this information, plus your expected down payment, our company will issue a pre-approval letter to you and advise you on mortgage options available to you. There is a difference between lenders who pre-approve loans and loan officers who pre-qualify buyers.
First Integrity shoulders the expense on behalf of our clients for the pre-approval process. Our goal is to empower our clients to know what they can afford versus what they think they can afford.
Determine The Area(s)
Armed with your First Integrity pre-approval letter, you will know the top end of your price range. However, there must be a comfort level that only you can establish. Areas should include homes with the features you determine meet your desired criteria. A simple but effective exercise is to take a sheet of paper and divide it in half. One side should include the “must haves” and the other – the “bonus features.” Other important criteria to consider: location, location, location. Will the home meet desired commute time, shopping needs, quality school systems, real estate taxes, etc.? Then, drive areas to get a feel for what is important for you.
Assemble Your Team Of Experts
Surrounding yourself with experts is key to a quality home-buying experience. Only work with client-minded professionals. Ask for referrals from trusted friends and family members.
First Integrity recommends that homebuyers should execute an agency agreement between themselves and their choice of Realtor®. With this agreement, the Realtor pledges to work on your behalf and not the seller’s. First Integrity works with hundreds of Realtors who we are comfortable referring to our clients, if requested.
Your choice of lender is equally important. First Integrity offers the most common form of mortgages such as:
- Conforming Conventional
- FHA-Insured Loans
- Rural Development Loans
- VA Loans
For first-time homebuyers, both Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC) and Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) loans could be an important program for your consideration.
In addition, only First Integrity has our exclusive PowerPlus® program and permits clients with higher credit scores additional options not available to all buyers.
In all cases, your choice of lender should be based on a one-on-one interview to determine if the company has all program options for your consideration. First Integrity does.
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