For something as important as buying a home, you need the right team of housing professionals working with you. Having their expertise and support on your side could make all the difference in your drive towards homeownership.
1. Housing Counselor
3. Loan Officer
5. Home Inspector
6. Title Company
For first–time homebuyers in particular, a housing counselor should be the first to join your team. A counselor with a not–for–profit, HUD–approved agency can help you figure out whether homeownership is right for you. That includes delivering the first–time homebuyer education that's required if you end up choosing a low down payment mortgage product. And not-for-profit counseling services are available at little or no cost to you.
A real estate professional is another key teammate. Most home hunters agree. It's great to have access to so much information online, and it's important to do your research, but many people still rely on real estate professionals to provide advice, move you through the home buying process and help you score a property.
To help you shoot and score, you need a lender on your team who knows the range of mortgage products out there and which ones might best fit your situation. You want a loan officer who returns your calls and also understands down payment assistance programs available in your area. The right lender can guide you to victory.
The Appraiser estimates the value of the home by comparing it to recent similar home sales in the area. This is important because the lender only provides a loan for the appraisal amount. Unless the buyer is willing to pay the difference, the seller should return the buyer’s deposit which frees him or her to look for another home.
To some people a Home Inspector may seem frivolous compared to other team members but this person can save you a lot of money. Their report will highlight any potential expensive repair items like the roof, electrical or plumbing. Even with new construction, a home inspector can be a valuable member of your team.
And finally, the Title Company checks the background and history of the home you are buying to ensure there are no liens or encumbrances before you close on the mortgage.
Assemble your team and let them help you achieve your homeownership goal!