What should I look for in a lender?
Finding a lender that is a great comminucator and adapts to your form of communication (text, phone, email) is essential. Find someone local and who is referred to you. Lenders will give you a dollar amount for pre approval.
Keep in mind this $$ amount is a maximum purchase price for you. Consider spending less and having a lower monthly payment.
What kinds of yearly costs can I expect?
Homeownership is awesome but comes with added costs that can creep up on you if you are not prepared. Costs include homeowner's insurance and property taxes, both of which are escrowed into your monthly mortgage payments and which in general will increase every few years.
Extra utilites such as water and sewer and trash.
Maintanence costs can add up quickly, especially if you need a new roof, foundation work or a sewer line. Have reserves for emergencies.
If you are unable to put 20% down on the home purchase, you will have to pay PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) for the term of the loan.
How should I choose my location?
For many people this is the most important factor in their home purchasing decision. I always suggest to people to consider commute times, especially since Denver is experiencing increased traffic throughout the metro area.
Also, where do your friends live? Having an active social life is important and if friends and family live further away it is less likely that you will visit them as often.
If you have children, school choice is very important. Be sure to visit potential schools in the neighborhood before you buy. Do you want a neighborhood with a high walk score? Or are you ok with driving or using ride services?
When is the right time to buy?
People tend to foucs too much on the best times of the year to buy or sell. The market is not predictable, so while spring is often thought the best time for real estate, Denver has truly become a year round marketplace. Buy/Sell when the time is right for YOU.
What should I do before I start looking?
Remember everyone, no matter the price point, has to make a compromise when purchasing a home. You will never get everything on your list.
If you make a pro and con list with a few must haves then you can go back and forth on which items you are wiling to compromise on. Partners should work together on a list.
How can I stay organized during the homebuying search?
When looking at homes with your realtor make sure to take lots of photos. Houses start to blend and you do not remember which countertop was in which house. Even if you do not like a particular house, if there is a feature you like take a photo. Keep a spreadsheet of square footage, # of bedrooms, bathrooms etc.
How should I choose a realtor?
Take time to find someone you trust and get along with and who can communicate in your preferred style. It often is a matter of personality fit. Of course I can help you with this portion, so reach out and let's get started!