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that fancy equity stuff


Currently you rent in Tacoma or somewhere in Washington, but you’ve decided that will soon be a thing of the past. You want to buy your first home! Great. It's time to build your own equity in a home…… your home… not your landlord's.
Making this decision is the first step, but what’s next? You might think, “Can I afford to buy? Is my credit good enough? I need pre-approval right, that's important isn’t it?”. To all of these the answer is most likely yes. But here’s a little more detail.

Also, please understand that all buying experiences are a little different. There is much more to the process than the below mentioned steps. I'm not a fan of giving "tips" to buyers, so consider this a very basic 101 on the process. 



Put your money away for potential closing costs, inspections, down payments, moving costs, and so on. In Washington you might need 5% for a down payment, then 3% for closing costs. That's 16k on a 200k loan! I already see the look of defeat in your eyes, but never fear because there are programs to help. See Buyers: What are my costs?

Find Your Agent. Don’t simply find “an” agent, find yours. Find one that strikes a chord with you. Your agent should be dedicated to educating, preparing, and guiding you through the process. It’s not their job to sell you on a home, it’s their job to work on your behalf and create a successful transaction on a home you want. As a tip, beware the listing agent who might be oh so willing to work with you. Someone that represents your best interests is vital. And go with someone local to where you're buying. If you live in Tacoma, get yourself a Tacoma Realtor.....



See your agent for referrals to reputable lenders that will work hard for you. Your ticket to ride is a pre-approval letter. Without it your offers will most likely fall flat, especially in a competitive market. A lender will work with you to gather and apply all proper paperwork towards a loan that makes sense for your budget. And if they find you might need a little work to get the ball rolling, that’s ok. If you’re not ready, a lender will help you develop a game plan to get you there.

Wish List!!! No, not for Santa. No matter what my past clients tell you, I’m not the Real Estate Santa, but I sure try. If you’re buying alone then this’ll be easy. If you’re buying with another, then this’ll be….fun. Consider the following checklist, define the answers together if it’s more than just yourself.

     >>Number of beds and baths.
     >>Square footage of home and of lot.
     >>Location: North Tacoma, Downtown Puyallup, Rural Gig Harbor
     >>Style of home: 2 Story, Rambler, Craftsman, New Construction...
     >>Parking: Garage, Street, Front yard on cinder blocks…
     >>Updates? New floors, New countertops, Vinyl windows...
     >>Any non-allowables? No busy streets, No old electrical...
     >>Any must have amenities? Gas stove, Ocean view, Fireman’s pole...



Now it’s time to put that agent to work! Have them search for you, but make sure you’re on the hunt as well. Make use of the search engines you’re comfortable with. Send your findings to your agent and have them do research on their end to get the nitty gritty details. Knowing all the facts will prepare you to confidently submit an offer that makes sense for you.

Have Fun, Keep A Cool Head. Buying a home in the South Sound is thrilling! But it can also be an emotional roller coaster. Make sure and keep up your yoga, guided meditation, or walks in Wright Park. Never, I mean never, let yourself become shy to the process. Keep open all communication with your agent. Ask them everything, trust me, you won’t come across as annoying. Most agents are thankful for interested and active clients. Being involved and informed will keep that blood pressure in check.

What's Next? See: The Perfect Offer

If you have questions are are interested in more detail regarding the information above please feel free to contact me at your convenience.

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