Yaizmen Sheree`

Photographer + Blogger + Creator

10 Steps to Buying a Home

Yaizmen FayneComment

I don't think I need to say it, but buying a house requires a lot of time and effort. Fear not for lots of people do it without pulling out all of their hair during the process. Below are 10 steps that can help make the home buying process manageable and help you make the best decisions possible.

Step 1: Start Your Research Early

As soon as you can, start reading Web sites, newspapers (if that's something you still read), and magazines that have real estate listings. Make a note of particular homes you are interested in and see how long they stay on the market. Also, note any changes in asking prices. This will give you a good sense of the housing trends in the specific areas you're looking to move to.

Step 2: Determine How Much House You Can Afford

Lenders generally recommend that people look for homes that cost no more than three to five times their annual household income if the home buyers plan to make a 20% down payment and have an average amount of other debt.

But you should make this decision based on your own financial situation. There are many Afordability Calculators online to help you figure this out.

Step 3: Get Prequalified for credit for Your Mortgage

Before you start looking for a home, you will need to know how much you can actually spend. The best way to do that is to get prequalified for a mortgage. To get prequalified, you just need to provide some financial information to your mortgage banker, such as your income and the amount of savings and investments you have. Your lender will review this information and tell you how much they can lend you. This will tell you the price range of the homes you should be looking at.

Step 4: Find the Right Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents are important partners when you’re buying a home. Real estate agents can provide you with helpful information on homes and neighborhoods that isn’t easily accessible to the public. Their knowledge of the home buying process, negotiating skills, and familiarity with the area you want to live in can be extremely valuable. And best of all, it doesn’t cost you anything to use an agent – they’re compensated from the commission paid by the seller of the house.

Step 5: Shop for Your Home and Make an Offer

Start touring homes in your price range. It might be helpful to take notes on all the homes you visit and like enough to consider putting an offer on. You will see a lot of houses! It can be hard to remember everything about them, so you might want to take pictures or video to help you remember each home.

Take as much time as you need to find the right home. Then work with your real estate agent to negotiate a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes in the same neighborhood. 

Step 6: Get a Home Inspection

Typically, purchase offers are contingent on a home inspection of the property to check for signs of structural damage or things that may need fixing. This contingency protects you by giving you a chance to renegotiate your offer or withdraw it without penalty if the inspection reveals significant material damage.

Step 7: Work with a Mortgage Banker to Select Your Loan

Lenders have a wide range of competitively priced loan programs. Every home buyer has their own priorities when choosing a mortgage. Some are interested in keeping their monthly payments as low as possible. Others are interested in making sure that their monthly payments never increase. And still others pick a loan based on the knowledge they will be moving again in just a few years.

Step 8: Have the Home Appraised

Lenders will arrange for an appraiser to provide an independent estimate of the value of the house you are buying. The appraiser is a member of a third party company and is not directly associated with the lender. The appraisal will let all the parties involved know that you are paying a fair price for the home.

Step 9: Coordinate the Paperwork

As you can imagine, there is a lot of paperwork involved in buying a house. Your lender will arrange for a title company to handle all of the paperwork and make sure that the seller is the rightful owner of the house you are buying.

Step 10: Close the Sale

At closing, you will sign all of the paperwork required to complete the purchase, including your loan documents. At this point, you'r ready to move in! 

Congratulations...You made!

Before You Decide to Buy Your 1st Home

Yaizmen FayneComment

TAKE YOUR TIME

My number one and MOST IMPORTANT suggestion when deciding to buy your first home is to take your time. Buying a home, in my opinion, is one of the most stressful times in your life. At least for me it was.

Random fact about me:

At the time, I was 8 months pregnant and taking 6 classes in order to graduate early. In a little over a month I had graduated from college, closed and moved into my home, and gave birth to my second child.

Anyway, in my case, I felt like I was rushing. Did I mention Christmas was quickly approaching? We wanted to be in our house before Christmas so our then 3 year old could have a normal holiday. Christmas came and while we weren't unpacked or had all of our furniture, at least we had a tree up.

Stress comes with the buying process, but at least if you're not rushing, it should take some of that stress away.

Know Your Deal Breakers

You should come up with a list of deal breakers and add these to it. Most of these can be avoided with a good home inspection, but check with your realtor to be sure.

What are your must-haves? What are things you don't want?

The Roof: How old is it? Are the gutters in good working condition? Do you notice any dry rot?

Flood Zone: Being in a Flood zone can increase your insurance cost and make it more difficult to resale in the future.

The Plumbing: Look for water stains, sagging floors, and mildew.

Future Upgrading/Improvements: Do you plan to add another room or floor? Check with zoning to make sure it's even possible.

The Electrical System: Old and outdated wiring can create a fire hazard and replacing it can be very expensive.

Know the Buying Process

There are multiple steps to finding and buying a home. From deciding to buy, to getting pre-approved for a loan, to getting a home inspection once you've put an offer and it's been accepted by the seller. Check out my article "10 Steps to buying a Home" for a full list of steps you'll need to follow.

Get Your Finances in Order....Credit and Savings Really Matter!

The higher your credit score, the lower your monthly payments. A credit score below 660 or 680, you're either going to have to pay sizable fees or a higher down payment. Pull your credit reports and ensuring you're not being unfairly penalized for old, paid or settled debts. Stop applying for new credit a year before you apply for financing. Applying for credit adds to the number of inquiries on your report.

I can't stress it enough how important it is to have savings! Not only do you need to have a down payment and closing costs, but you also need a nice emergency fund. You will no longer be able to depend on your landlord to fix things for you. I would suggest having a dedicated account for home repairs, replacing appliances, etc. You can never be too prepared.

 

I really hope this tips are helpful. If you're a homeowner, share your tips in the comments section. Let me know what you think!!

At Some Point You're Gonna Feel Like You're Not Enough

Yaizmen Fayne2 Comments

I never feel like I'm doing enough as a parent.

I have this feeling almost every single day and I think most parents, at some point, feel the same way.

I ask myself...

do I talk to my children enough?

am I teaching them everything they need to know to become well functioning adults?

do I spend enough time reading with them?

should I sign them up for more extra-curricular activities?

am I doing a good job as a mother?

and...

do my children think I'm doing a good job as their mom?

To answer my own question I have to ask another: Am I trying my hardest to be the best mom that I can be?

If your answer is yes, great! The best thing we can do as parents is to do our best. Don't get me wrong, none of us are perfect so I always feel like there is room for improvement. But when I analyze my life and my day-to-day routine, it overwhelms me when I try to think of what I could do more of or do better when it comes to my parenting.

So...over the last couple of days I've really been trying to think of ways to improve my "parenting skills".  

Sidebar: As you read more and more of my blog posts, you'll notice that I tend to get a little distracted. I quoted "parenting skills" because I wasn't sure I wanted to use it in the above sentence and decided to Google it in order to figure out whether to use the term or not. Anyway...here is what I found just in case you were wondering.... 

Parenting Skills: "The child-parent relationship has a major influence on most aspects of child development. When optimal, parenting skills and behaviours have a positive impact on children’s self-esteem, school achievement, cognitive development and behaviour." (Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development)

Okay, back to where I was going with this! Below is a list of things I plan to add to my daily routine with my children. Because we are always on the go, living in our car, at the gym, or at some sort of activity, I think doing these will help with overall connecting with my children, will help them in school, and just improve my relationship with them. Try some or all and let me know what you think. Suggestions are always welcome! 

  • Believe it or not, your child(ren) wants to talk to you. they just don't know how. Instead of asking them "How was school?", ask some of these and I promise, you'll get more than the typical one-word answer. 
    • Which one of your teachers would survive a zombie apocalypse? Why?
    • What is the most popular thing to do at recess?
    • What is one thing you hope to learn before the school year is over?
    • If aliens came to school and beamed up 3 kids, who would you want them to take? Why?
    • Did anyone make you mad today?
  • If you don't already have one, get a library card. Go weekly or bi-weekly.
  • If you spend a lot of time on the go, keep plenty of books in the car. Instead of listening to music, use this time to let your child read to you. If they get stuck on a word, have them spell it out to you and you assist with either telling them the word, or help them sound it out. 
  • Food is Memories. I Googled "food" and that phrase popped up and is so true. Cook from recipes even if you know what you're doing. Let you child read the recipe to you. Not only will it help them with their reading, but use this time as a way to bond with them. Cooking with your child(ren) can create some of the best memories that you will be able to talk about years from now. I have pictures of my children cooking with my grandmother and I'm glad they've had that experience because that's something they will hopefully cherish later in life. 
  • Physical Activity is very important in my house. I workout 4-5 times a week. The gym I go to, luckily for me, has childcare included in the membership at a very affordable rate. Unfortunately, my oldest doesn't really care to go there everyday for the 2 hours I spend working out. If you frequent the gym as much as I do, try staying home or going to the park once or twice a week and include your child in your workouts. I would try to make you read and interpret some good workouts you can do with you child, but instead I've created a video to show you. Check out the video below and let me know what you think. And as always, have fun!

-Yaizmen Sheree`