Purchasing a home is one of the best ways to build your personal equity. It is also one of the biggest financial decisions you will ever make… right behind going to medical school! No matter where you are buying, here are some helpful tips to start thinking about before you purchase.
Define What You Want
There are so many factors to consider when looking for a home. It is important to determine exactly what characteristics are most important to you (number of bedrooms/bathrooms, square footage, outdoor space, parking, etc.) It is just as important to identify the area of town in which you would like to live. It is best to do some research on the market in your area. It’s easy to get a feel for housing prices in each neighborhood using various real estate apps. While these apps can help paint a picture of general neighborhood prices, they do not provide accurate inventory for homes currently on the market, which leads to the next important step.
Contact a Professional
Buying a home is complex and working with a REALTOR is highly recommended to help you navigate the process. Full-time realtors do an average of 10 or more closings per year, which is way more than the average homeowner will do in their lifetime. As a buyer, you will not pay the realtor’s commission, so it is a complete no brainer to hire a guide to help you through the process.
Get Pre-Approved for Financing
As a physician, you have the opportunity to take advantage of the unique Doctor’s Loan for your mortgage, which requires little or no money down, no Personal Mortgage Insurance (PMI), and does not consider your debt-to-income ratio in the way a traditional loan would, which could drastically change your purchase power. Many regional and national banks have departments dedicated to serving medical professionals. It is important to ask your Realtor to introduce you to institutions that offer the Doctor’s loan; if they cannot provide the resources, that is your first red flag that the agent is unequipped to serve your needs. I encourage you to shop around banks and get the best mortgage rate in your desired city. You can shop an unlimited number of mortgage companies who will check your credit, and as long as it is within in a two-week period, your credit score will not be significantly affected.
Start Viewing Homes and Make an Offer
1. When looking at homes, go see your top ten options all in one day and keep a running list of only the top three homes.
2. Once you find “the one,” consult with your realtor to make the best offer possible. In the current Nashville market, the average buyer gets outbid on one home before winning due to multiple offer situations.
Going under contract
This is when you request a home and termite inspection. If issues are found during the inspections, your realtor will work with the listing agent and sellers to fix any major concerns you have before taking possession of the property. Within two days of closing, schedule a walk-through of your new home to make sure all issues have been remedied.
Close on Your Home
This is the final step in taking ownership of your property. You will work with a title company or an attorney’s office to make sure that the property is transferred properly. Home ownership is a big and exciting decision that will lead to memories that will last your lifetime. I pride myself in providing turn key service that has made me one of Vanderbilt Physicians’ most trusted realtors. If you have questions regarding your housing situation, would like me to set you up on a home search in Middle Tennessee, or you want guidance in choosing the right realtor to work with in another city, please feel free to contact me anytime.