Truth and Lending Team

Laura Sosa-Rocha Witte
VP of Production
NMLS# 193027
Mark Witte
Director of Marketing & Business Development
NMLS# 1284966

Truth and Lending Mortgage News

4 Tips for Remaining Objective During Your Home Search

Emotions can run wild during a home search, particularly if you are buying your first place. It can be easy to fall in love with the first house you view, overlooking its flaws in favor of its strengths - but this can be a mistake.

These four tips will help you stay objective during your home search, leading with logic instead of emotion.

1. Know Where You Stand

If you have decided to take the leap and purchase a home, the best way to start is by surveying your financial picture. Know your credit score, income expectations and stability, and any other debts, and then get preapproved for a mortgage with a lender. Knowing what you can afford before you even start looking at a home will keep your search on track, and will keep you from making impulsive decisions. Setting a budget based on your preapproval amount - and sticking with it - will also help you stay focused when it comes time to make offers and negotiate.

2. Figure Out What You Need

The line between what you need and what you want can get blurred during the home search, so it is best to prepare in advance. Make a list of what you need in a new home - from closet space to outdoor space to room for a growing family. Then, make a list of everything you want in a new home, meaning the things you could live without. It might be nice to have that bay window you've always dreamed of, but you'll love your new home no matter what.

3. Work With An Agent

When it comes to buying a house you don't need to work with a buyer's agent, but there are plenty of reasons you should. A buyer's agent is your representative in the home buying process - as opposed to the seller's agent, whose interest is in getting the seller the best deal possible. A buyer's agent will help you find the right resources for things like home inspections and attorneys, and will support you during negotiations to protect your best interests. Additionally, a buyer's agent will help you make sure to stick with your list of needs and your budget during your search, keeping you focused on logic, not emotions.

4. View Multiple Properties

It's not uncommon for new home buyers to fall in love with the first house they see, which is why it is essential to see a number of different properties. Not only will this help you understand the market and what is available, but it will also protect you from making a move based on emotions. By seeing multiple properties, when it does come time to make a purchase, you'll feel as though you accurately researched and considered all of your options, leading to even greater satisfaction with your new home.

Get started with a home search based in logic, not emotion, and get preapproved for the best mortgage rates available.

5 Reasons to Work With a Buyer Agent

Buying a house is a complicated process, and if you are a first-time buyer, going it alone can make it even harder.

Buyers will understandably look to cut costs wherever possible in order to access the money needed to make a down payment, cover closing costs, and prepare for all kinds of new financial responsibilities. Hence, buyer's agents - who, as their name implies, represent a buyer in the sale - are sometimes seen as non-essential costs; why pay the extra cost of a commission? The answer is, of course, that the home buying process is complex and includes a long road from finding your dream house to closing on it, one that a buyer's agent will help you navigate as easy as possible.

Read on for five reasons to partner with a buyer's agent if you are shopping for a home.

1. Get Help With Your Search

While there are a number of ways to search for real estate online, a buyer's agent can help you pinpoint the things you need to be looking for in your new home, and the things you don't need to be as concerned with. Your agent will also do the heavy lifting when it comes to scheduling visits to potential homes, and will likely know about home options before they even come to the market. Plus, your agent will know about the surrounding area and neighborhood and will help to advise you on the right prices for each property based on comparable sales activity.

2. Get Recommendations For Other Services

You'll find that the home buying process has a lot of moving parts and involves a lot of different people, so a buyer's agent can be the best way to receive recommendations on everything from mortgage lenders to movers. Because you'll need to perform things like a home inspection and will need a real estate attorney, working with a buyer's agent can be the best way to stay on track of every part of the process.

3. Get Real Feedback

Particularly for first-time buyers, it can be tempting to fall in love with a house immediately. That's when a buyer's agent can help with useful feedback about why your choice may not be as good as it appears. Plus, a buyer's agent will be there to help you remember your budget when it comes time to make an offer on a property, and can protect you from paying more than you should.

This is also where a buyer's agent is very different from a seller's agent. While the seller's agent may list the home, their allegiance is to the seller, and they will want to get the highest price possible. If you try and navigate the process alone, you may fall prey to agreeing to terms that aren't in your best interest.

4. Get An Expert Negotiator

There are many aspects of the home buying process that can be negotiated, from the overall price to contingencies. A buyer's agent will help you present the most attractive offer to a seller, and will help make sure that you understand what you are agreeing to. They've done this plenty of times before, and know just what moves to make when it comes to negotiations.

5. Get Protection Throughout The Process

The support and protection that a buyer's agent will offer you throughout the home buying process are what will ensure that everything goes smoothly from start to finish. Your buyer's agent will be there to advise you on the results of the home inspection, protect you from contingencies that could leave you in a lurch, and will always be in between you and the seller, ensuring deals stay on track and productive.

If you're ready to really start your search, the first step should be finding out how much home you can afford.