Should I get pre-approved for a loan before looking at homes?

Absolutely!  Getting pre-approved for a loan is an important part of the home purchasing process, because it lets you know exactly how much you can afford.  If this will be your first home, the bank will be able to help you take advantage of South Carolina’s first-time home buyer programs.

What should I bring with me when I go to apply for a mortgage or a prequalification?

While different lenders require different information, it’s generally a good idea to bring account statements, evidence of other financial assets (bonds, stocks, etc), a recent paycheck stub, two years of your past tax information, a list of all of your credit cards and how much debt you have carried on each, information on any outstanding loans (car loans, student loans, etc), and the name and address of someone who will be able to verify your employment.

Is buying a home the best decision for me?

The answer to this question will vary from person to person.  Buying a home can prove a fantastic investment if your credit allows you to get a favorable interest rate.  In some cases, it will be cheaper to pay a mortgage than to pay rent!  That said, if you are planning to only be in the area for a year or two or are uncertain you will be able to keep up with general home maintenance responsibilities, it may be smarter to continue renting.  Feel free to reach out to our team, and we will gladly sit down with you and help you decide which option is the best fit with your current lifestyle and future plans.

What if I can’t afford a large down payment?

You don’t always have to put a large percentage down when buying a home.  That said, if your loan-to-value (LTV) ratio rises above 80%, your bank may require you to have mortgage insurance.  If you only have a small amount available for your initial down payment, it’s even more critical that you shop around during the loan pre-approval process to find the very best offer available to you.

How many homes should I tour before I choose one and put in a purchase offer?

This answer is different for every situation and every house hunter.  There’s no “right” number of homes that you “must” view before buying.  If you fall in love with the first house you see, there’s no reason to feel that you’re making a mistake if you want to put in a purchase offer right away.  Likewise, there’s no need to make yourself pick before you are completely ready.  If you want to see every single available property that fits into your preferences list, we’re ready to show them to you.

When I find the home I want, how do I know how much I should offer the seller?

The answer to this is something we’ll work out together when you choose a home to make a bid on.  The CRES team member you’re working with will compare the asking price of the home to the closing prices of similar homes that have sold in the area recently.  The home’s current condition will also be taken into consideration, as will the length of time the home has been on the market.  Then you will be prepared to make an intelligent offer on what will hopefully become your future home!

Is it possible to buy my next home while I sell my current home?

It is possible, but it will be more complicated in terms of timing than a standard sale or purchase.  Thankfully, the CRES team is ready to help you prepare for every contingency!  We’ll use our negotiating power to extend the terms of the closing term on your current house, so you can successfully place an offer on your new home while your old one is in the closing window.

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