Buying a home can be one of life's most exciting experiences as well as one of the most frustrating.  There are a hundred details that must be addressed before you are handed the keys.

Using professionals, like Tom's team, will help make sure the experience is as pleasant as possible. But even when you have a team working for you there is still a lot of information you will need to gather and consider.  The more prepared you are, the less chaotic the buying process will be.

Here are some recommendations to help you get started:

Make a Game Plan
Here are some things to consider during the planning phase:

1.  Is there a particular time of year you want/need to make the move? Once you find the house the purchase process can take as little as three weeks.  On the average, it takes about five weeks. 
2.  Have you reviewed your credit?  [More Info.]
3. How much money do you have for a down payment or to repair your existing home?
4. Loan pre-qualification can be very beneficial. A pre-qualification can give you more leverage when making an offer and can help you you shop.  The Tom Tatro team can help you with this. 
5. Educate yourself regarding the city/neighborhood that you are moving to.  If the move is an out of town move subscribe to the local paper.  If it is in the same city go to the neighborhood, talk to the local neighbors and see what concerns and pride's they have about the neighborhood.  Look at the local public facilities such as parks and see how well maintained they are.  
6. Make a list of wishes and concerns and give it to Tom.  Tom can use that information to help narrow the list of potential homes and will save you time by narrowing the search. The better the communication between you and Tom's team the more enjoyable the experience can be.

Amortization Schedule

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Check Your Credit Rating

To receive a free credit report please click Here.

Even if you're sure you have excellent credit, it's wise to double-check at the outset. Tom can assist you with acquiring a copy of your credit report.  Straightening out any errors or disputed items now will avoid troublesome holdups when you’re waiting for mortgage approval.

When you are reviewing your credit report you may see disputed items, in addition to errors caused by a faulty social security number, a name similar to yours, or a court ordered judgment you paid off that hasn't been cleared from the public records. If such items appear, write a letter to the appropriate credit bureau. Credit bureaus are required to help you straighten things out in a reasonable time (usually 30 days).

If you have any inactive credit cards that are showing up on the report you will want to have the cards canceled. An inactive credit card with a $5,000 limit, even though you owe nothing on it, is used by some mortgage lenders when calculating the ratios used to approve a loan.  Too many inactive credit cards with significant credit limits could keep you from obtaining a mortgage loan. Don't just cut up your extra cards; officially cancel them, and do it now so there will be time for the news to reach the credit bureaus.

Hold off on making any major credit purchases while you're waiting to apply for a mortgage. Monthly payments you're obligated to pay will be counted against you, and reduce the amount of the mortgage loan you'll be offered. Once you are pre-approved you should remember that the approval is subject to last-minute evaluation of your financial situation, and a spending spree for appliances, furniture and other goodies intended for your new home may wreck your chances of buying it.

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