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Home Buyer Resources

Tips for First Time Homebuyers

It’s important for first time homebuyers first to understand what their long term home ownership goals are and what type of home best suits their needs. (Here are 100 things to watch for in a real estate transaction.) And it is very important to be pre-approved for a home loan (Click here for a checklist of documents they’ll likely ask you for.); to meet with a lender and look at your credit score and really understand what price bracket you are in. It’s important to get an idea of how much a lender is willing to give you and how much home you can afford. Sometimes a bank will give you a loan that’s larger than what you can actually pay for and afford, and so it’s important for you to understand what your mortgage will be and what your finances look like. (Here is a list of 6 simple tips to help the home loan application process go smoothly. And an interview with a local home mortgage officer about what tends to go wrong with home loans.)

One of the best things we can offer first time homebuyers is to come in and sit down with us and we can go through the entire process and to make them feel at ease with applying for a mortgage. Often we get first time homebuyers who aren’t quite qualified to buy, so they start working with a mortgage broker and then within three to six months they are now a buyer. (You’ll enjoy this interview with a couple who were first time home buyers with an FHA loan.)

Many first time homebuyers don’t know what their credit score is and don’t know if they can qualify for a home loan. But even if your credit score is a little low, we’ll take the time to help you get up to the point where they can buy. And when you’re ready to buy, we’ll take care of all the small details for them like getting CC&R’s and the HOA contract to review.

A great place for first time homebuyers to start is to create a home search or even several searches on our website and to drive by the different neighborhoods to really understand if that’s the neighborhood where they want to be in and if schools are important, to research the schools.

Understanding the Home Inspection Process

Often we find that buyers and sellers don’t know what to expect with a home inspection. If you’re the buyer you’re going to be getting a report back that can be up to 30 pages. The home inspector will go up in the attic, he’ll go below, he’ll check every window latch, how every door shuts, weather stripping. What he will not check is the irrigation and the sprinkler system.

If you’re the seller sometimes you’re thinking, “How do I get my home ready for a home inspection?” At the least, you need to make sure that the areas of access are cleared so that it’s easy for a home inspector to get into the attic and easy to find the crawl space. More tips: make sure your smoke alarms batteries are good, that your smoke alarms are working and that all your light bulbs are working. If a light bulb’s out and inspector may call for an electrician because they think that the light isn’t functioning and they’re not allowed to touch the bulb.

Understanding the Home Loan Closing Process

The first rule in the home closing process is: do not select a Friday for your closing day. Don’t have that moving truck at the house at noon on your closing day or even 5PM. Schedule it for two days (or even three) after. If you are closing on Friday and then have your money not come in – a problem with the lender or maybe the cut off time didn’t happen and, or there’s a snow storm back east and wires didn’t come out and then all of a sudden you can’t move in over that weekend. We try and have our buyers schedule closings on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, allowing a day or two for potential issues.

Benefits of Buying a Previously Owned Home

One of the most notable benefits of buying a previously owned home is that they often have a larger lot size than new construction. Another benefit can be buying in an appealing, established neighborhood that doesn’t have any empty lots to build on.

Should you buy a farm or ranch in Central Oregon?

When a buyer comes to us wanting to buy a farm in Central Oregon, the first question we always ask the buyer is “Have you owned a farm before?” Some people come from out of state and say, “My goal is to buy a farm.” If you have never had a farm, there are many variables to consider: irrigation rights, septic systems, boundaries, cattle raising. There are important questions to answer: What are your goals for the farm? Do you want to raise livestock? Do you want to farm lavender? Perhaps you are moving here because of our new legalization of marijuana and want to become a grower? If you are planning on coming here and having grow houses, what power is available to the site?

Some buyers who think they want to buy a farm but may just want to have chickens and one horse. In that case, they may be very comfortable owning just three acres and getting their feet wet before we take you up to that 20 acre farm or that 200 acre farm.