Searching for just the right home can be a daunting task for anyone owing to the many decisions and compromises that must be made throughout the process. But if you’re a home seller who is also looking for a new home, things get vastly more complicated. You have market a home and search for a home simultaneously, and that is no small thing to pull off successfully. We’re here to help, though. Check out these 3 things you need to do when starting your home search in Oklahoma City.
1. Give Your Finances a Good Going-Over
Perhaps the first thing you need to do when starting your home search in Oklahoma City is to give your financial situation a hard and honest look. You want to be sure have the financial resources to cover, at a minimum, the following: the down payment, the earnest money deposit, and the closing costs.
A typical down payment will range from 5% up to 20% of the home’s sale price. It’s a substantial chunk of change that you’ll pay to your lender as evidence that you are committed to buying the home and repaying the mortgage. When you make the down payment, you then have “skin in the game.”
Experts agree that you should pay as much down as you can for a couple of reasons. First, the larger the down payment, the lower your monthly mortgage payments will be and the less you pay over the life of the loan. And a larger down payment may help you avoid paying for private mortgage insurance.
Earnest Money Deposit
The earnest money deposit is a good faith payment that goes toward the overall cost of the home, and it too indicates your seriousness as a buyer, giving the seller some peace of mind knowing that you’re willing to make this financial commitment. This earnest money will be held in escrow by an impartial, unbiased third party after you sign the contract. It typically runs about 1% to 5% of the home’s cost.
The last step before you can take possession of your new home is closing, which involves certain costs. These closing costs include fees for such things as mortgage underwriting, title search, prepaid insurance, and more. It’s a good idea to have funds set aside for these costs before you begin your home search.
In addition to making sure you have cash on hand for these three major costs, you should also check your credit report and score. You don’t want to encounter any unpleasant surprises when you apply for a mortgage.
2. Determine Must-Have and Like-to-Haves and Research the Neighborhood
After going over and getting your finances in order, the next thing you need to do when starting your home search in Oklahoma City is to sit down and carefully determine what you must have and what you would only like to have in the home. Then, after, that you should thoroughly research the neighborhood where you’re considering buying.
Begin by making a list of all your must-haves and then list your like-to-haves. With this list in hand and in mind, your home search will be far more productive. You will know right off which homes meet your search criteria and which ones don’t. And when you have to compromise (which is an inevitable part of the process), you’ll have your list to guide you.
Also, it’s imperative to keep in mind that you aren’t just buying a home – you are also buying into a neighborhood. So you absolutely must make sure that the neighborhood where a prospective home is suits you and your family and your lifestyles. A local Oklahoma City agent can provide invaluable guidance here. Just call (405) 521-1817 to consult an experienced agent.
3. Find an Experienced Oklahoma City Agent
The last, which should probably be the first because it’s so important, of the things you need to do when starting your home search is to find an experienced Oklahoma City agent to guide you in the home search.
Your agent can help you get access to homes before they hit the market so that you can be first in line to make an offer. Your agent can also help you make sound decisions and guide you through the whole complex home-buying process.
Just be sure to look for an agent who has experience in your area and with the kind of homes you are interested in. You will also want to look at their track record of deals closed for buyers in your situation and with your needs. And make sure the agent is willing and able to communicate promptly and frequently and by your preferred method.
Where to Look for an Agent
The difficulty, though, lies in the fact that finding the right agent to meet your specific needs can be a long, labor-intensive process involving much research and many interviews. But there is an easier and more direct way. And that is to go to an agency known for top-notch agents and results. So when starting your home search in Oklahoma City, contact us today at (405) 521-1817.