Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a veteran homeowner, buying real estate can be an exciting and overwhelming journey. Even if you have been through the home-buying process several times, it’s always a good idea to work with a knowledgeable REALTOR® who will look out for your best interests. At Hoien Realty, we are a team of experienced real estate professionals who have a vast knowledge of the Iowa Great Lakes Area and its unique real estate opportunities. Our agents are dedicated to helping you find the right property for you, at the right price for you.
With more than 55 years of real estate excellence, Hoien Realty is committed to providing you with quality service and the personal attention you deserve when making what may be the biggest purchase of your life. A few aspects we will help you with are:
Setting a Time Frame
There are a lot of variables in the home-buying process, which means the time it takes to find and buy your new home varies too. A typical home search process may take three to four months, including the mortgage approval process, comparing and evaluating properties, making an offer and the closing process.
The Lending Process
This can be intimidating, but we will be there to help guide you through the lending process. What can you do to make it easier? Start by making sure your budget is under control—make a list of all your monthly expenses, compare it with your income, and see if adjustments need to be made. Pay off small credit card balances and start gathering documents you may need (i.e. W-2 forms, income tax returns for the past few years, pay stubs, records of child support or alimony).
Determining How Much You Can Afford
A general guideline to consider is that most buyers purchase a home that costs about one and a half to two and half times their current annual income. For example, someone earning $50,000 a year might purchase a home for $75,000 to $125,000. Mortgage payments should be about 26-28 percent of your gross monthly income.
Finding a Home That Meets Your Needs and Wants
Before you start looking at properties, make a list of “must-have” features along with optional features you’d like to have. “Must-have” features may include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you’ll need to accommodate your family, location (consider commute to work, which schools your children will attend, etc.), lot size and special needs (handicapped access, etc.). Optional features may include the architectural styling, bay windows, landscaping, etc.