There are thousands of real estate agents in the Denver metro area, why should you pick us to represent you? In a nutshell, we are competent and we care about our clients. We personally believe these are the two most important qualities of a real estate agent. If your agent has these two qualities, everything else falls into place. Plus, we develop properties ourselves, giving our clients a leg up in this crazy real estate market. Our clients not only have access to all available properties in the area but they have access to our exclusive pre-market list of homes that we develop ourselves.
If your real estate agent is competent then he/she will have the know how to guide you through the home buying process and endless paperwork with ease. They will be thorough when submitting necessary paperwork, protecting your earnest money with his/her dying breathe. It sounds dramatic, but that’s how a competent real estate agent serves their client.
A competent agent will have the experience to avoid potential home buying pitfalls like title and loan issues, as well as the ever-present home inspection issues, plus countless others.
They will know the nuances of the specific market that their client is entering from countless hours of local experience and research.
Throughout the entire home buying process, a competent real estate agent will negotiate the best price and terms for their client, keeping the client’s best interest first and always no matter what.
A competent real estate agents does all of these things and a lot more. A real estate agent that cares does it for the right reason, not for just a commission check, but to protect their client’s best interest and money, insuring their clients make the right decision for them, not for themselves.
You should always check your credit before getting any kind of loan to avoid any surprises. Everyone is able to check their credit once a year for free. You can do this by visiting www.AnnualCreditReport.com. Credit scores range from 300 on the really low end to 850, the absolute highest and best score one can have; obviously, the higher the score the better the loan you'll qualify for. The reason you check your score is to see if there are any errors. If there are, you can dispute them and have them taken off your report.
You can get a rough estimate of what you can afford by clicking here for our nifty mortgage calculator. Don't forget to factor in money that you'll need for a down payment, closing costs, fees (such as fees for an attorney, appraisal, inspection, etc.) and the costs of remodeling or furniture. Remember that you don't always have to put down 20 percent as your parents once did. Actually, most buyers put 5-10% down. There are loans available with little to no down payment! An experienced home loan expert can help you understand all your loan options, closing costs and other fees.
To find the right mortgage lender it’s best to shop around. We have a couple of lenders that we trust with our clients but we encourage buyers to shop around. Trust is very important in the home buying process, so feel free to get recommendations from your friends and family and check with the Better Business Bureau. Talk to at least three or four mortgage lenders. Lenders are known for talking fast, so ask lots of questions until you get the answers you're looking for. Lenders should make you feel at ease. Don't be satisfied until you're comfortable with the loan terms and the lender providing them.
The next step is getting pre-approval. Avoid getting multiple approvals, as this could negatively affect your credit score. Always give your lender honest and comprehensive information. They're only as good as the information that you provide them with, remember, pre-approval is no guarantee. The last thing you want is the loan to fall through after you've found your dream home because of wrong or incomplete information. The lender will pull your credit and get more information about you. I always recommend that my clients get the full approval before their home search, which will put them ahead of the competition when it comes to make an offer on a home.
Make a list of the things you'll need to have in the house. Ask yourself how many bedrooms and bathrooms you'll need and get an idea of how much space you desire. How big do you want the kitchen to be? Do you need lots of closets and cabinet space? Do you need a big yard for your kids and/or pets to play in?
Once you've made a list of your must-have's, don't forget to think about the kind of neighborhood you want, types of schools in the area, the length of your commute to and from work, and the convenience of local shopping. Take into account your safety concerns as well as how good the rate of home appreciation is in the area.
In this competitive home market, buyers have to be ready to pull the trigger when they see a home they love. Buyers also have to be prepared to offer more than what the sellers are asking for the home. This is where an experienced realtor pays dividends. He/she will be able to assess the current local market (comps, buyer and seller trends, etc) and come up with an offer price that will give the buyer the best chance of buying the home at the lowest price that the buyer is comfortable with. Don't be discouraged if you don't get the home. The market is extremely competitive and buyers can only afford what they can afford. Keep your head up and keep trying, you will succeed! Once you are under contract, you will be required to put down a deposit, which is called "earnest money" and is kept by the closing company until closing. Don't worry, Colorado laws favor buyers in home buying/selling contracts. Your seasoned realtor will protect your earnest money!
There are many different types of mortgage programs out there, but as a first-time home buyer, you should be aware of the three basics: adjustable rate, fixed rate and interest-only.
Adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) are short-term mortgages that offer an interest rate that is fixed for a short period of time, usually between one to seven years. After that, the interest rate can adjust every year up or down, depending on the market. These are good for people who don't plan on living in their home very long and/or are looking for a lower interest rate and payment.
Fixed-rate mortgages are more traditional and offer a fixed interest rate (and thus a fixed monthly payment) for a longer period of time, usually 15 or 30 years, though they're available in 20 or 25 year terms. These are good for people who like a predictable payment and plan on living in their home for a long time.
Both fixed and adjustable rate mortgages can have an interest-only payment. What this means is that for a certain amount of time during the loan term, you're allowed to pay only enough to cover the interest portion of your payment. You can still pay principal when you wish, but don't have to if your budget is tight. There is a myth that with interest-only mortgages, you don't build equity. This is not necessarily true, since you can build equity through home appreciation. The benefit to interest-only mortgages is that you increase your cash flow by not paying principal.
Remember to ask your mortgage lender or mortgage banker lots of questions about which mortgage is right for you and your situation.
Setting the closing date that is convenient to both parties may be tricky, but it's not necessary for the buyer and seller to close at the same time or even in the same state! There are a few options including mailed documents, separate closings at different offices and/or different times.
Be sure you talk to your mortgage banker to understand all the costs that will be involved with the closing so there are no surprises. Closing costs will likely include (but are not limited to) your down payment, title fees, appraisal fees, attorney fees, inspection fees, and points you may have bought to buy down your interest rate. Click here for an explanation of closings costs.
Make it your home!