For some homebuyers, the ordeal of purchasing a home feels fraught with uncertainty and peril, but getting the right help and educating yourself will relieve those fears. Before you get absorbed in the world of home listings and open houses, let’s go over 5 misconceptions people have about buying a home in Harford County in today’s market.
Agents Aren’t Worth the Money
While you may not need an agent in order to purchase a home, hiring the services of a qualified and experienced real estate agent can easily be the secret ingredient that removes a great deal of the busy work and stress from your homebuying venture.
Shopping around and meeting with a few agents gives you a better idea of who will work best with you as well as provides you an opportunity to pick their brains a bit. Your agent’s working knowledge of the local market will help you out in finding worthwhile properties that are priced appropriately and best meet your needs.
Also, any agent worth their salt knows how to represent their client in negotiations while keeping everything professional.
You Must Be Debt Free
Don’t be under the impression that only those without any debt have a shot at buying a home in Harford County.
Mortgage lenders expect the vast majority of applicants to have some debt. Lenders use what is called the debt-to-income ratio – or DTI – to figure out if slapping on your additional mortgage payments every month is going to put you in a financially precarious position. This ratio assists the lender in determining your risk level if they are to approve your loan.
It’s always good to attempt to pay down your existing debts prior to applying with any lenders to put yourself in the best light.
A 20% Down Payment Is Required
We will always recommend trying to provide a 20% down payment when buying a home in Harford County.
The reason for this is lowering your monthly payments by avoiding private mortgage insurance, or PMI, and creating the potential for a lower interest rate from your lender. Keeping that in mind, the 20% down payment is not absolutely necessary in all cases.
If you’re taking advantage of a VA, USDA, or other federal loan programs, you may qualify for a lowered or no down payment while still avoiding paying PMI.
Taking the time to look into your eligibility for any loan programs can make a big difference, and should not be skipped.
Only Buy in Spring and Summer
The spring and summer are the times of year that the real estate market traditionally heats up. However, choosing to shop around and purchase your new property during the fall and winter off-seasons could end up saving you a bundle.
Home inventory tends to be lower during the cold seasons but the buyer competition decreases as well. Taking a chance on a desirable property in the middle of the winter could prove a serious money saver and should not be dismissed.
Don’t rush yourself into buying a home and give yourself some breathing room to make rational decisions while searching for that spectacular deal.
Everyone Is After Your Money
Some buyers – especially first-time buyers – can get a paranoid feeling that everyone is out to scam them at every turn.
Your agent wants you to purchase a home that you’re happy with so they grow their reputation with another satisfied client and your lender wants to ensure they get paid back for their long-term investment in you. Finally, the home sellers may want to get what they can from selling their home but it’s extremely unlikely that it’s anything personal.
Trying to keep a positive attitude no matter the circumstances goes a long way when searching for your next home, and it can turn that search into something truly enjoyable and special.
Professional Partners When Buying a Home in Harford County
If you’re planning on buying a home in Harford County, contact our professional team at 443-616-5486!