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How Much Home Can You Afford In Todays Market?

If you haven't figured your credit worthiness and borrowing power lately, you might be surprised at how much home you can afford to buy in today's market! Mortgage Lenders are very optimistic about the future of the real estate market and as a result they are willing to loan more on properties than you might expect! And, lenders are making loans at rates not seen since the late 1960s.

We,as your Realtor, will be most willing to align you with one of our favored lenders for a private and complete analysis of your borrowing power. There are many different mortgage programs available to you -- some that you may not have heard of or even imagined before. Now is a great time to take a look at what's available to you! Every day we help buyers find and finance their next dream home. We can help you, too -- if you call us.

Here's what we'll do for you:

Step 1: We can show you how or connect you to the right lender, to get you pre-qualified or even get you a signed loan commitment for an exact maximum amount with exact terms and conditions -- and THEN you can search for the land or home of your choice with full knowledge of your ability to purchase it in today's challengingly fast moving market.

Properties here have been selling FAST, if they are priced at the market; seldom more than a few weeks. There are some exceptions; where the home is an unusual color, the lot an unusual shape or the floor plan too eccentric for most buyers or the seller has priced the property too high and is waiting for the market to catch up. These can be exceptional buys.

Some locations are not as hot and properties sell more slowly -- but there are VERY FEW to choose from.

Your ability to purchase and own the property you want will be greatly enhanced after a phone consultation with a lender. You will get the answers from your lender, usually in a few minutes or hours. If you are looking for an older property or a "fixer-upper" the lender will usually tell you that they can make arrangements to finance the restoration and remodeling costs too! For those with strong credit, there are even loans for up to 103% of the purchase price, allowing you to get a home with nothing down and finance the settlement costs too.

Step 2: We will meet with you and discuss with you a selection of properties that are within your ability to purchase. Many will not suit your needs perhaps; but we can mutually learn from that first meeting and tailor a few meaningful appointments and showings that will better utilize your time and ours. It is difficult to make an informed and logical choice when too many properties are seen at one time -- especially when most or even all of them could have been eliminated due to unsuitability for you and your family.

Step 3: At this point or preferably earlier, to give you the best service; you will be advised to sign an agreement with us so that we may represent YOU in your purchasing decision. Otherwise by law we must represent only the seller; that is the way the law is written and we must obey or lose our license to do business. All of our buying clients sign Buyer's Agent agreements! We can also work as dual agents for you as a buyer when the property for sale is our listing. Either agreement allows us to represent YOU too and not only the seller. You should take advantage of the Buyer's Agent agreement.

Step 4: Kate and I can then usually preview the properties that look the most interesting to you. After we inspect them, we can better guide you as to whether certain properties are more or less suited to you. In some cases we can even advise you to NOT purchase a specific property when we are representing you instead of the seller. We can also go to a specific property for you and take more pictures with our digital camera and then send them to you via e-mail to give you more insight and help you better determine your interest (or not) in coming to see the property yourself. We prefer to work by email. We do not take calls during appointments and email allows us to work, keep a record of all our communications, as we are working with many people and some of them for weeks, months or even years before they purchase. Email is by far our prefered method of communication other than our appointments with you. At times we will need a back and forth two way phone conversation, sometimes on speaker phone with both of us or others so that all can be involved in the discussion; but we still follow that up with an email of notes on the discussion.

Step 5: This is the exciting part! After these first steps we will go with you (and your spouse or other decision making family members) to see those few properties that are affordable and suitable for you. AND since you now know exactly what you can afford -- you can then write a purchase offer or agreement at this point without any surprise or any difficult financing problem! In this fast paced market, not writing an offer or full price contract within hours or days of seeing the property will often eliminate your opportunity to purchase and meanwhile prices are going up by the DAY as each seller wants to get quite a bit more than the last one... wouldn't you?

In this market some sellers will not even sell a property to someone who is not already qualified to purchase their property with proven cash, a loan commitment or some other suitable financing capability.

Step 6: At this point you can return to your normal life with only a few more short and easy responsibilities between your agreement to purchase (once the seller has also agreed) and your final ownership of the property. It is usually only four to six weeks from the time of a fully agreed upon and finalized agreement to purchase and your ownership of your new property -- on land the final settlement can be two weeks or less!!! You will need to make some choices regarding inspections and evaluations by professionals during this time. We can usually handle all but a few details of these recommended actions.

Step 7: Enjoy your new property! And, remember as your Realtor, we are available to you after you own your property, if you need some additional professionals to help you enhance your purchase, improve the property, make repairs, remodel, paint, find a lawn service, etc.

We know folks who have proven reliable and if we give their contact data to you we want you to let us know if they don't serve you well! If they don't we have some additional clout in that we can stop referring them and we are locals who they know will spread the word if they don't properly care for our clients. Once you have done business with us -- we consider you family!

We are available for you; just call us or write us. Meanwhile you may want to recommend others to come to our Web site here as we add articles from time to time. Or just send it to anyone who may benefit from it as you wish. All we ask is that you send our web site address as well when you send them the article so that they will have the source; that will give us the copyright protection we ask for.

Copyright 2001-2005

Jody Hudson is a Realtor with 35 years experience in the business nationally and in Delaware.

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