1. Determine what you can afford. Getting Pre approved is a vital step prior to making an offer. When you get ready to buy Boise Idaho Real Estate and are actively searching the MLS, it is time to get prequalified! The logical first step is to meet with a lender. A good lender will look at your long term debt, income, credit history and other factors to determine what type of loan best meets your specific requirements. Often times lender's guidelines will allow you to borrow more than you want.  By the time you are done, you will have a good idea of what price range you are able and comfortable with and how much the down payment and closing costs will be. As well a good approximation of what the payment will be. Give me a call for a referral to a sharp, smart  and especially, honest lender!

2. Pick an agent who's right for you. Then hire them to represent your best interests. Boise Idaho Real Estate agents come in all shapes, sizes and with varying degrees of competence and experience levels. It is hard enough with a good one and painful as can be with a bad, lazy or incompetent Boise real estate agent.  Typically the seller pays the commission, but not always. Erica and I guaranty that you will not pay one cent of our commission, but not everyone is willing to do that. Choosing an agent that you are comfortable with and can easily communicate with is essential in the process being as enjoyable and stress free as possible. In addition it is important for you to understand Idaho Buyers agency, the realtor in the open house you were in represents the seller, and is specifically there to take as much of your money as they can and put it in the sellers pocket. Yikes. Again find an Agent you like and think is honest, preferable with experience, and hire them to be your buyer’s agent. then their job is to keep as much money in your pocket as they can! Yeah!

3. Shop for a mortgage. Getting Pre approved is a vital step prior to making an offer. Typically we recommend that you make application with one quality lender and let them know that you will be looking at a few other lenders to make their rates and fees are competitive. They will not like it but it does two things. One, it lets the loan officer know that you are no bump on a log. Secondly it prompts them to sharpen their pencil on the loan fees and costs associated with the loan. helping to get you a lower cost on the loan if they are the lender you end up going with. One big mistake that first time Boise Idaho real estate buyers make is to call 10 lenders and asking for their interest rates. A lender can't be held to those quotes, so it's just going to lead you to the smoothest talker and not necessarily the best loan officer with the most competitive fees and rates. The low rate is no good if you're paying too much in fees. It is better to call three or four lenders and mortgage brokers and ask them for a written list showing their fees and rates. Those they are supposed to honor. It is called a good faith estimate. One word of caution a good number of the online mortgage originators will be less expensive. This is because they have very little support staff on the back side to get your loan through the process and close on time. More than once we have had buyers use on line lenders and they were unable to get the documents to closer on time. Sometimes we can negotiate and extension, sometimes we cannot. This can cost you the house we have worked so hard to find, so if you are going to go with an online lender it is best to  have us check with our closers at title to see if they have a bad reputation for being late. Saving $500 in closing costs is only great if you actually close

4. Shop in your price range. Shopping for Boise or Meridian Idaho real estate that is not in your price range only makes the process harder. Make a wish list of where you want to live and what you want to have in your home. Realize you may not get anywhere near everything on the list. Prioritize the list, what is more important, a great room or big back yard, Kids bedroom sizes or a large great room. it is rare that a buyer will find everything, and at a price they can afford. Take your blinders off to any flaws. Love at first sight fades when you move in to realize the pantry is small, or the laundry room barley has room for the washer and dryer. Move on if the asking price is unrealistic or the seller is unreasonable. Or if the bidding rises beyond your budget. You can also save yourself some time by reading a little into the real estate listing euphemisms like "cozy," "historic" and "needs TLC." If you want a kids play area and the listing agent says "cozy" bonus room, it is small, tiny and probably won't meet your expectations.

5. Get educated. You need to go look at enough homes that you can walk into a new listing and have a good idea if it is priced appropriately for the market. If it is a reasonable price compared to other properties it will not last long and may have multiple offers. So if you need time to think it over, it will probably be sold. Erica and I love it, and know we have found a good house when you are dragging us back by the shirt collar to write the offer! But if you are not up to speed on what $xxx,xxx buys then you lose and somebody else will own "your house"

6. Make a realistic offer. First time buyers are famous for lowballing sellers. Often times missing out on two or three homes before they see the light. The Boise Idaho real estate market is not what is called a "price off market", where properties are price 20% higher than the seller expects to get. The agents and builders over the years price a home and stick to their guns so to speak. Often the builders will risk losing a sale at a set price point, then lower it two weeks later if it does not sell. That said even when the price is unreasonably high, the seller is often not realistic about the value of their property. You can make a low offer to a stubborn uneducated (about pricing) seller till you are blue in the face. But unless your timing is just right it does not get you any closer to closing.

7. Find a good home inspector. There are lots of good ones and most are honest and straight forward. There are some I feel are better than others, but in addition to my recommendation, ask friends, family, coworkers if they have a favorite. Then do your homework. In addition to their fees ask for a copy of their report, does it have pictures, inquire about their experience and for a few references. If they are not service oriented up front they will not be responsive once the report is done if you have questions etc.


Posted by Mike and Erica Carr on
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