In today’s competitive business environment, it often takes more than just motivation and initiative to succeed. Nebraska REALTORS® Association provides quality education that raises the standards of professionalism and knowledge.
|Immediate Past President:
Coldwell Banker Preferred Grp
102 N Dewey St.
North Platte, NE 69101
301 W 4th St
North Platte, NE 69101
|Directors:||Lincoln County Board of REALTORS®|
|Kim Hanna-Davis||301 W. 4th Street|
|Jodi Schall-Hinds||North Platte, NE 69101|
|June Robinson||(308) 534-4047|
Terms Expire: December 31st, 2021
Terms expire: December 31, 2019
Applications must be submitted prior to December 15th of the application year.
The steps to buy a house might seem complicated at first—particularly if you're a first-time home buyer dipping a toe into real estate for the very first time. Between mortgage rates, property taxes, negotiating with sellers, and closing the deal, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. There's so much at stake!
Still, if you familiarize yourself with what it takes to buy your first home beforehand, it can help you navigate the real estate market with ease. So let's get started! In this step-by-step guide, you'll learn what it takes to buy your first home from beginning to end. Whether it's your first time in the real estate market or you're an experienced homeowner who wants to brush up on their skills, this list has you covered.
The very first step every first-time home buyer should tackle is to figure out their finances. Buying a home (particularly for the first time) requires a mortgage, where a lender fronts you the money and you pay them back over time. However, in order to get a mortgage, you'll need to put down some sort of down payment.
So how much do you need? Ideally a down payment on a mortgage should be 20% of the home's price to avoid added fees, but if you don't have that much, don't worry. A mortgage down payment can be as low as 10%, 5%, or even 0% for certain types of mortgages like VA loans or a USDA loan.
In addition to having a down payment, a first-time home buyer will need a decent credit score. This three-digit number is a numerical summary of your credit report, a detailed document outlining how well you've paid off past debts like for credit cards and college student loans. A lender will check your score and report in order to estimate the odds that you will deliver your monthly payment to them, too. In turn, they will use this info to decide whether or not to loan you money, as well as how much, and at what interest rate.
If a lender sees some late payments or other blemishes in your credit report, this can lower your odds of getting a loan with a great interest rate, or perhaps even jeopardize your chances of getting any loan at all. So, it's essential to know your score, and take steps now if necessary to bring it up to snuff. Here's more on how to check your credit score and what number is best to buy a home.
Before you head out home buying, you should seek pre-approval from a lender for a home loan. This is where you meet with a loan officer, ideally a few at various mortgage companies. Each mortgage lender will scrutinize your financial background—such as your debt-to-income ratio and assets—and use this info to determine whether they're willing to loan you money, and what size monthly payment you can realistically afford. This will help you target homes in your price range. And that's good, since a purchase price that's beyond your financial reach will make you sweat your mortgage payment and puts you at risk of defaulting on your loan.
As a buyer, just keep in mind that mortgage pre-approval is different from mortgage pre-qualification. Pre-qualify, and you're undergoing a much simpler process that can give you a ballpark figure of what you can afford to borrow, but with no promise from the lender. Getting pre-approved is more of a pain since you'll have to provide tons of paperwork, but it's worth the trouble since it guarantees you're creditworthy and can truly buy a home.
Before they even meet with a lender, one step home buyers can take to begin understanding what they can afford as a monthly mortgage payment is to plug their info into an online home affordability calculator. This will calculate the maximum amount you can afford as a monthly payment.
Want a trusty home-buying guide by your side? Most first-timers will want a great real estate agent—specifically a buyer's agent, who will help you find the right houses, negotiate a great real estate deal, and explain all the nuances of home buying along the way. The best part? Their services are free to first-time home buyers (since the seller pays the sales commission). Here's how to find a real estate agent in your area.
Note: There is a subtle difference between a real estate agent and a Realtor®; the latter is a member of the National Association of Realtors® and adheres to a code of ethics. Consider having a Realtor additional insurance that you'll get the help you need to ace the home-buying process.
This is the fun part! As a buyer, you can peruse thousands of real estate listings on sites such as realtor.com, then ask your agent to set up appointments to see your favorites in person. Since the sheer number of homes can become overwhelming, it's best to separate your must-haves from those features you'd like, but don't really need. Do you really want a new home or do you prefer a fixer-upper? Make a list of your wants and needs to get started, and whittle down your options.
Found your dream home? Then it's time to make an offer to the seller. Here's more on how to make an offer on a house that a seller can't refuse.
A home inspection is where you hire a home inspector to check out the house from top to bottom to determine if there are any problems with it that might make you think twice about moving forward. Think: termites, faulty foundation, mold, asbestos, etc. Sure, a lot can go wrong, but rest assured that most problems are fixable.
Even if you got pre-approved for your home loan, your lender will want to conduct a home appraisal. This is where they check out the house to make sure it's a good investment. It's similar to a home inspection, but for your lender. Here's more about the home appraisal process and what to expect as a buyer.
Closing, which in different parts of the country is also known as “settlement” or “escrow,” brings together a variety of parties who are part of the real estate transaction, including the buyer, seller, mortgage representative, and others.
Closing is the day you officially get the keys to your new home—and pay all the various parties involved. That will include your down payment for your loan, plus closing costs, the extra fees you pay to process your loan. Closing costs can be sizable, averaging anywhere from 2% to 7% of the home price. Here's more on closing costs for home buyers.
Done with closing? Got your loan? Congratulations, you've officially graduated from a buyer to a homeowner! See, the home-buying process wasn't so scary after all, right? Now it's time to kick back and enjoy the many benefits of becoming a homeowner.
Real estate transactions are typically one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Relying on a REALTOR® gives you peace of mind you have an expert looking out for your financial interests. A REALTOR® has a keen understanding of their marketing for buyers and sellers and serve as your advocate in negotiations. Most importantly, REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction with respect and professionalism.
All real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. They proudly display the REALTOR "®" logo on the business card or other marketing and sales literature. REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reports that 84% of home buyers would use the same REALTOR® again.
Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $100,000. If you had a $100,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $100,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be foolish to consider a deal in real estate without the professional assistance of a REALTOR®.