The Road to Home Ownership in North Idaho and Eastern Washington
The road to home ownership in North Idaho and Eastern Washington may not be as difficult as you think. Sure, the media has us all running scared out of fear that the sky is falling. But it's FAR from the truth. There are GREAT deals out there to be found! And, there is still money to be lent.
The first thing you need to do is make a plan. Kevin and I are BIG on planning. Our experiences prove that plans must be flexible and adjust with your circumstances, but it's a great place to start. If I were searching for a house right now, my plan would look a little like this:
1. Get pre-approved for a loan
There is nothing more essential in today's economic climate than getting PRE-APPROVED for your loan BEFORE you look at houses. You should avoid looking at houses until you are pre-approved because you don't want to set your heart on a particular house, only to find out that you don't qualify.
A qualified mortgage professional will sit down with you, gather your financial information, and counsel you on a number of things. Among them are:
- how much you can afford
- should you buydown your loan
- buyer don'ts
- your debt-to-income and how it relates to your overall budget for housing (not forgetting savings for home repairs, rainy day situations, etc.)
- explain interest rates (fixed vs. adjustable) and which one is best for you based on your goals of home ownership
A qualified mortgage professional will determine what kind of loan would be best for you - not the best loan for anyone else. Do you require 100% financing? Do you have some money down, but still need near 100% financing. Are you qualified for government loans, including USDA, VA, FHA.
2. Find a Realtor
Their blog will tell you a wealth of information. Are they familiar with the area you are looking to purchase in? Do they have a professional attitude? Do they know what they are doing? Are they connected enough to represent you and get you the best information? Do they reflect your same personality or the personality you expect from an agent?
Certainly, Kevin and I can refer you to an agent if you have difficulty choosing one yourself. There are certainly a number of good Realtors out there and we'd be happy to refer you to our network of Realtors:
Matt Lambert- Windermere Coeur d'Alene Realty
We first met Matt at a Coeur d'Alene Business Referral Group meeting several years ago. Matt is a seasoned professional who represents the best qualities you can find in an agent. I should know, my parents are looking for a home through him right now.
Brian and Tammy Waggoner- Lakeshore Realty
Brian and Tammy came to us because they were referred by a business associate of ours at North Idaho Title. Brian and Tammy, in addition to selling real estate, have a rent-to-own company, named Swiftpoint Investments. Through Swiftpoint, Brian and Tammy can help those individuals with credit challenges who might not qualify for a home loan now, but want to eventually. If you are credit challenged, KMG Mortgage Group can work with you to improve your credit situation while you rent-to-own a house from Brian and Tammy.
Janna Rankin Scharf- Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty
We haven't had the opportunity to work with Janna yet, but I have become a fan of her blog here on ActiveRain. I find her informative and passionate about our local area. I encourage you to check it out for yourself.
3. Find a Home
Once you choose an agent, you need to find a home. North Idaho and Eastern Washington are GREAT places to live - I should know, we live here, too. Maybe I'm prejudiced (of course I am), but there is no other place I'd rather be. I have done some extensive traveling, but my heart always calls me back home.
If you are like a lot of home buyers, you like to do some research on your own: filter out some houses and ask your agent to show you only those you are interested in. If that's the case, visit the Coeur d'Alene Association of Realtors website.
In short, I hope you have found the information here to be helpful. I have added several links to our website that may be useful to you as you get on that road to home ownership. And, if you already own a home, that you would trust us with your refinance or purchasing of a second home or rental property.
Thanks for your time and consideration. Best regards to you and your family.
KMG Mortgage Group