Three Steps to a Stress-Free Portland Home Purchase
Buying a home is a major event in anyone’s life, whether it’s the starter home for a new couple, a second home or a condo to retire in. So it should be fun and exciting the whole way, right?
If only. As a real estate agent here in Portland for the past 12 years, I’ve seen it all — from meltdowns at the lenders’ office to squabbles at the final walk-through. Fortunately, I’ve also learned how to prevent some of the stress and pressure that comes with buying a home.
Your home is a big investment — maybe the biggest you’ll make in your life — and the #1 most important thing you can do is have a great buyers’ agent on your side when you make that investment.
My buyers’ agent team (myself, Stephen FitzMaurice and our new buyers’ specialist, Kami Price) is dedicated to helping you find the home of your dreams — not just selling you something! Our job is to help you do the research, ask the right questions on home tours, and negotiate the best price.
Once you’ve found the buyers’ agent or agent team that is best for you, here are my tips for getting through the rest of the home-buying process without adding grey hairs to your head.
1. Arm yourself with paper. There’s a lot of documentation involved in qualifying for a mortgage and buying a home, and having them prepared ahead of time can save you a lot of headache when the lender requires them. This includes divorce decrees, tax returns, check stubs, and identification. Getting organized can make the difference between a smooth home buying process and having those “Oh !&$(#“ moments when you aren’t able to provide the documents you need.
2. Know what you’ll pay up front. In the home buying process, looking at homes is the fun part! There’s a lot of work that goes into making that happen, including having a fairly detailed idea of how much home you can afford. You may be planning on getting a 3% down FHA loan, but closing costs can tack on an additional 2-3 percentage points to that figure. Unexpected costs are the most stressful thing that can happen in the home buying process, so consult with your lender and real estate agent to be sure you have enough cash stashed away before you get your heart set on the home of your dreams!
3. Make sure you can afford the home you buy. Sure, you know you can make the mortgage payment, but have you included all of the monthly costs associated with a home purchase, including taxes, insurance and potential HOA fees? Don’t forget to start a fund for home maintenance costs, too. Portland home owners will tell you – having the home of your dreams does not compensate for the added monthly stress of making those payments, so be sure it’s all within your range!
It’s a great time to buy a home in Portland, so contact our buyers’ team today! We’ll be happy to walk you through the process. With a little preparation, you’ll have an experience that’s as close to hassle-free as possible.September 3, 2015