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Maine / New Hampshire

Sanford/Springvale – a convenient and affordable area to work and raise a family. The surrounding lakes region of Southern Maine and Southeastern New Hampshire – beautiful country settings for your vacation home or peaceful daily living

Information for Buyers

Use a Buyer’s Agent

It is important for you to choose an experienced agent who will work for you. Your agent should be actively finding you potential homes, directing you to reputable lenders for a loan pre-qualification, while keeping you informed throughout the entire process. Your agent should be a member of the National Association of Realtors; this organization adheres to a strict code of ethics and provides invaluable education and resources for its members.

Getting a Legitimate Lender and Getting Pre-Approved

In the past, buyers shopped for a home and upon finding a suitable property, made an offer to purchase it. When the seller accepted it, the buyer contacted a lending institution. In today's market, that has proven to be the least effective method.

We advise our clients to visit a lender in order to get "pre-qualified" for financing. Based on general questions about your income, debt, assets, and credit history, lenders can investigate what loan programs are available to you and estimate how much of a mortgage you can qualify for.

However, you may want to take the next step, from being pre-qualified to being pre-approved. Pre-approval means that you have applied for a mortgage: you have filled out the mortgage application, a hard copy credit report has been run and all income and asset information has been verified.

When you have been pre-approved, you will know exactly what your maximum loan amount allowable will be and have an accurate estimate of all closing costs. In addition to being pre-approved, it's important to be pre-approved with a legitimate lender. Your real estate agent should be able to direct you to reputable banks, mortgage companies, credit unions, and savings and loan associations.

Why You Should Not Make Any Major Credit Purchases

Don't go on a spending spree using credit if you are thinking about buying a home, or at any time during the home buying process. Your mortgage pre-approval is subject to a final evaluation of your financial situation, so it is imperative that your finances remain consistent with your initial loan application.

Every $100 you pay per month on a credit payment could cost you about $10,000 in home eligibility. For example, a car payment of $300/month could mean that you qualify for $30,000 less in a mortgage.

Even if you have accumulated enough savings, you should not make any large purchases until after you own your home. The last thing you want to find out is that you no longer qualify to purchase that new home because you couldn't curb that urge to buy those new appliances until after the closing.

Avoiding Financial Stress

By asking the right questions, and knowing exactly what your needs are, you can find the right loan for you. There are certain approaches that you can take while mortgage shopping that can cost or save you money.

It is still true that the better qualifications you have, the lower your interest rate will be. However, there are mortgages available for almost everyone: it's the interest rates and down payments that vary.

Before speaking with a lender, know what monthly dollar amount you feel comfortable committing to. Then when you discuss mortgage pre-approval with your lender, it is easier for you to determine the monthly amount and what value of home the monthly amount translates into. Do not put yourself in the position where you will be paying more each month than you intended simply because the "dream house" requires it or the lender says you can afford to. Remember your "comfort zone".

Do your research on the types of mortgages available to you and find the one that best suits your needs. There are a number of considerations to be making in terms of finding the best mortgage for each individual.

Importance of Inspections

A home inspection is one of the most important elements of a home purchase. Don't let emotions get in the way of seeing a home objectively. A professional home inspection is something you should always do, whether you are buying an existing home or a new one. An inspection is an opportunity to have an objective expert look closely at the property you are considering for purchase.

Your agent should advise you to have the inspection completed by an inspector with national certification. Not only should you not skip an inspection, but also you should follow along with the inspector during the home inspection. This gives you a chance to ask questions about the property and get answers that are not biased. In addition, the oral comments are typically more revealing and detailed than what you will find on the written report. Once the inspection is complete, review the report carefully and discuss any concerns you might have with your agent. In light of any major defects of the home, it may be necessary to consult with other individuals who are experts in their fields in order to obtain in-depth advice and cost estimates.

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