What do I do? Where do I start? How does this process even work? Well, let’s talk about that. For me, the first thing you want to do is talk to a lender. Why? Because you want to find out, not only how much you can afford, but what you’re comfortable with. So the lender may tell you that you can afford, I don’t know, $400,000 to a $500,000 house and your payments will be whatever and you’re going, “Whoa, wait a minute, that’s too much for me.” And that’s okay. That’s a good time to determine where you’re comfortable with your payments, right? What’s your principal interest, taxes and insurance. What’s your “all-in” on a home payment each month? That’s almost more important for me than even what the house costs.
Because I mean seriously, what is $100,000 what’s $200,000? That’s kind of a number that’s out there, right? But tell me what my payments are going to be every month, that I can live with. So, that’s another way to go about it. Maybe you go to the lender and say, “Hey, I want my payments to be here. How much can I afford to keep my payments here? Or what do I need to do? How much do I need to put down? How much money should we be saving?” All of those questions are really an important main factor to start with, because once you have that, the next step is to go and engage a realtor. Yes, I would interview a few of us and see what you think. You’re going to be living with us for a while. So find a personality that meshes with yours, right? Find someone who’s incredibly informative, very knowledgeable, and has been doing this awhile.
It’s kind of like going to a doctor and he goes, “You need to have heart surgery and you need it right now,” and you’re like, “Whoa, Whoa, Whoa. Wait a minute. I think I’ll go to the heart specialist and find out if I need heart surgery,” right? So do you want the agent that has just done one or two transactions or do you want a realtor who’s been there for a while and done this for a lot of people and had some great success in negotiating and working for them?
So a few things to be looking at when you’re looking for your realtor and then insist that you sit down and have a buyer consultation. If your realtor’s not suggesting that or not insisting that you do that, find another realtor because that’s another important step, is to sit down with this person that you’re going to be helping find this house, right? This is your relationship for a while and have them sit down and understand what you’re looking for, what’s important to you, what are non-negotiables, what are some of the things you’re looking for in a house and hence what areas, what’s your drive time to work? What’s, what’s important to you? Do you like to live where you work and everything’s right there? Are you okay working over here and driving? What’s an acceptable drive time to you?
For some people, an hour’s okay. That would drive me nuts. But for some people that’s okay. For you it might be, I want to be at work in 15-20 minutes max. So all of those things go into the equation of what you’re looking for and how much can you spend. Where is that house, right? Over here, over here, here, where do we find a house at that price? So those are all of the things that go into play before you ever even walk in and see a house, is to get all of those things determined on paper, so that your agent can help you get through this process. And from there it’s smooth sailing. It’s go out, find your house, get it under contract, and move on down the road. So I hope that helps a little bit, helps you get started in this process. And if we can be of any further help, please come find us at http://www.dallasnative.com and of course we’re on all social media. We go where you go!