Home Buyers Course. Learn Here.
Signing up for a home buyer education course is the first step to becoming an informed home buyer.
A home buyer education course will provide information on a variety of topics related to the home buying process. Topics covered include:
- Money management
- How much you can afford
- Applying for a mortgage
- Shopping for a home
- Down payment and closing cost requirements
- Making an offer
- The home inspection
- Preparing for closing
- Post-purchase responsibilities
Do not rely on the online quiz that mortgage companies will provide on home ownership. Depending on the mortgage company you work with, some will be OK with you just taking an online exam to get the basics of home ownership. Others will want you to take a mortgage certificate class. Take. The. Class. Regardless. There is nothing more frustrating for a novice shopping around for a home than not being able to understand the lingo. If you don’t know what adjustable rate mortgage (ARM), fixed-rate mortgage, closing costs, escrow, private mortgage insurance (PMI), principal and interest (PI), title fees, earnest payment, homeowners association (HOA) and property taxes are right off the top of your head, you’re going to have a helluva time trying to understand your mortgage specialist. Although buyers can be financially qualified for a home, reading the emails regarding what to shop for were giving me a headache and it’s not the real estate agent’s job to teach you everything about owning a home.
Do not be wow’d by the first walk through of a home. Three times a charm. On the closing date, it can take up to three hours to finally close after three weeks of waiting to be approved on my current home after I turned down three other condos. Buying a home is so much like dating. On the first date, this place is smoking hot and you cannot wait to get to know it better. Then the inspector comes in and shows you every single thing wrong with it. My first condo had 11 things wrong with it, and they were things I’d have never thought to check from my first stroll inside—stove burners that only worked if you turn them two at a time, shaky outlets, an old fusebox, a huge hole underneath the sink, several closet doors that were misaligned, etc. I should’ve known something was off when the owners suddenly wanted to sell it to me “as is,” when those were not the terms when I first saw the posting. And inspection and appraisal costs are nonrefundable from each home, so you better really look at your “date” a whole lot closer before putting down that first earnest payment.
Go on more than one walk through, even after the inspection. I learned this the hard way after living in an apartment for eight years and having two nightmare neighbor couples above me. Whatever time you did your first walk through, find another time to do a second one. Weekends and weekday evenings are the best times to really understand who your neighbors are. Do they loudly blast music or smoke so much weed through their vents that you’re now high too? Been there. Do they think it’s OK to run on a treadmill so every morning sounds like Barnum & Bailey Circus? Yep, dealt with that too, sir. Will you need a collection of candles and incense to get rid of the smell of their funky food? Yes, ma’am, I can relate again. I have had outstanding neighbors and others that I wish would move straight to the Bermuda Triangle. Make sure the neighbors and the neighborhood you’re moving into fits your preferred living conditions.
Make sure your real estate team have your best interests at heart. I talked to at least three real estate agents before deciding on Urb Realty. The first ones before Lamar were more interested in the pre approval letters and less interested in showing me places that fit my needs. Then there were a list of nightmare homes that kept popping up in my email that never matched anything I said I wanted. Just like real estate lawyers, real estate agents do not get paid until you close. But if you find one who actually listens to what you like as opposed to what he/she likes, this relationship will be so much better. And you must have a mortgage consultant (and team) who is patient enough to answer questions along the way and get along with your real estate agent.