A Guide To Buying Your First Beracah Home
Making the switch from being a renter to being a homeowner is exciting! The process can be trickier than anticipated for inexperienced homebuyers. Here are some tips to help you prepare, so you can look forward to a new life in your new Beracah Homes home!
Get your financial ducks in a row!
1.) Check your credit score. The three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) are each required to give you a free credit report once a year. An FTC study found one in four Americans identified errors on their credit report, and 5% had errors that could lead to higher rates on loans. Avoid last-minute surprises by checking your score long before you make an offer. And work diligently to correct any mistakes.
2.) Determine how much you can afford. Lenders are happy to lend you as much as your debt load allows, typically no more than 43% of your gross monthly income (called the debt-to-income ratio). This figure includes your future mortgage and any other debts, such as a car loan, student loan, or credit cards. There are on-line calculators to help you determine what you can afford.
3.) Make a down payment plan. Most conventional mortgages require a 20% down payment. If you’re not able to swing that, there are programs that can help. The FHA offers loans with lower down payments, but they require mortgage insurance premiums, which drive up monthly payments. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers a variety of programs by state, as do some credit unions. When planning your saving strategy, remember that banks like to see that you’ve had stable funds in your account for 60 to 90 days before applying for a loan.
Start to think about what you really want in your new home!
4.) Rank what you want most. What’s most important to you… An open floor plan? A big backyard? Proximity to work? A quiet street? You’ll be able to make a decision more easily if you know your priorities. Work out any differences of opinion within the family now to avoid frustration and wasted time later.
5.) Visit models and the Beracah factory. This is a great way to get an idea of what kind of home you're looking for and how the Beracah Homes process works.
6.) Don’t forget to budget for miscellaneous expenses. Buying a home may have miscellaneous upfront costs – home inspection, title search, property survey, home insurance. Costs vary by region, but can run a few hundred dollars.
It’s almost time!
7.) Get your paperwork together. Banks are very particular about giving out mortgages. They require a lot of paperwork, including:
· W-2 forms — or business tax return forms if self-employed — for the last two to three years
· Personal tax returns for the past two to three years
· Most recent pay stubs
· Credit card and all loan statements
· Bank statements
· Addresses for the past five to seven years
· Brokerage account statements for the most recent two to four months
· Most recent retirement account statements, such as 401(k)
Collect these documents before you need them. It will make life so much easier.
8.) Get pre-approved for your loan. Make an appointment with your lender or mortgage broker. Bring all your paperwork. He/she will run a credit check and tell you how much loan you’re approved for.
9.) Start shopping. One you’re pre-approved, you will be able to look for homes that meet your priorities and your price range. And you won’t waste time looking at homes you can’t afford.
10.)So many choices! Once you’ve found your dream plan, the fun begins. You’ll meet with the Beracah Homes team to make all necessary financial and design decisions. Now, you get to enjoy the process of watching your new home being built in the factory at our Greenwood DE location.
11.)Get ready to move. Time to start packing, cleaning, sorting, arranging for school or doctor’s records to be transferred, filling out change of address forms, arranging for a moving van and for transportation of pets.
12.)Know your new space. Are you moving to a larger home? Do you need new furniture? Will your existing furniture fit in your new home? Take some measurements to make sure everything fits.
Closing & Moving Day!
13.)Make sure all of your financial documents are in order before closing. Have a cashier’s check in the exact amount for closing.
14.)Make sure everything is ready to go for the movers. Don’t waste their time and your money by making them wait around while you get your act together. Provide a list of things they might need: phone numbers, exact moving address and maps. Be sure you have cash on hand. Find out if you’ll owe anything after the move and what form of payment they accept.
15.)Plan ahead. Bring a moving day survival kit – Toilet paper, snacks, bottled water, dishes, toiletries, towels, a few days’ worth of clothes. In the new house, tape names to doors so movers know where boxes go. Bring a bottle of champagne / sparkling cider and some glasses to toast to your new home!