6 To Dos for Buying a Home

By Laura Ray, REALTOR

  1. Save: When looking to buy a new home, it's good to start planning a year ahead. There are many expenses that come with a new home purchase, including down payment, restoration, maintenance, and more. For a down payment, a good goal is to put 20% down. Some loans will go as low as 3.5% and there are programs that will allow you to have zero down payment, so don't be discouraged by the goal, but start saving now. 
  2. Speak with a lender: The first thing you will need is a preapproval letter from a lender.  A good lender will inform you about the type of loan and what amount you will qualify for, will help you create a financial plan, and assist you with the various programs available.  It is recommended that you get several quotes from different lenders.  A small change in loan percentage rate can save you a lot of money!  I would be happy to give you recommendations.
  3. Look for available grants/programs: There are many grants and programs that can help save you money.  First time home buyers, veterans, police officers, teachers, fire fighters, residents of revitalization areas, and more. There is likely a program for you.
  4. Make your budget: Run the numbers! Down payment, monthly payment, taxes, and interest rate, and what fits into your budget are all things to think about. Do you know the 28/32/40% rule? Your lender and real estate agent can help you answer these questions.
  5. Make your wish list: Write down everything you want in your new home and prioritize your list.  Bring the list with you when you visit homes and check off everything on your list that the home offers.  You can use this when comparing homes.
  6. Start your search: A great place to start is  I can also set up an automated email for you.  You will receive automatic emails listing available properties that meet your criteria as soon as they hit the market or when there is a change in listing price.  You are now ready to visit properties.  Bring a camera and your wish list to document as much as you can about the house.  It will come in handy when making your decision.  If you are not familiar with the neighborhood, visit it at different times, talk with neighbors, and do your research to make sure it is a good fit for you and your family.  Your new home is waiting for you and I am here to help.

Connect with Laura Ray to get more great advice on buying a home in today's market. Visit her website or call 410-868-2290.