Buying a Home

Find the Right Real Estate Agent

Rent. It's a hole in your pocket where all your money goes. Maybe it's time to sew up those pockets and buy your own home. What? You can't afford to buy a home? You say you're destined to rent forever? Actually, it is easier to buy a home in Utah than you think.

There are a lot of agents out there. But they are not all the same. Like any profession, the best have education, experience and a record of success. Don’t hire a real estate agent just because he was the first one listed in the yellow pages. Remember, your agent will be helping you make a life-changing decision. And you will probably work with this person for several months, so find someone you like. To find the right Utah home buyer representation:

  • Ask around, get some referrals.

  • Narrow your list to a small handful of Realtors. Call and meet with a few of them.

  • Ask them questions about their background and training. Ask them questions about the area you're moving to. Do they seem knowledgeable? Are they aware of disclosure areas? Do they know about road construction?

  • Ask them to show you a few houses before you sign a buyer representation agreement. Did they seem to be listening to your requests? Are they interested in you or only selling a house.

  • When you find an real estate agent you like, sign a Buyer Representation Agreement and begin your house hunt in earnest.

 

Make a Homebuying Wish List

Buying Utah Real Estate is easy.  

However, before you start looking, it is a good idea to prioritize your home buying wants and needs.

How many bedrooms do you want/need? Bathrooms?  Must you have a garage?  Large backyard? Do you absolutely hate stucco, linoleum or parking on the street?  Maybe all you care about is a vaulted ceiling, a swimming pool and a window seat. Whatever your wants, needs or tastes are, write them down and tell your real estate agent.

If all you know is that you're sick of paying rent, take notes when you look at homes. Write down what you like and dislike and what you could live with. Then, relay your notes to your agent so your search can be narrowed.

Eight steps to buying your home

Deciding how much house you can afford

Determine Price Range

Determining the right price range for your Utah home purchase depends on how much you can reasonably afford.

Generally a Utah mortgage lender will loan you between 2.5 to 3 times your yearly income. So, if you make $40,000 a year, you can probably borrow $100,000 to $120,000. Lenders also expect you to pay between 5 percent and 20 percent of the price of the home as a down payment.

It is highly recommended that you apply for "mortgage pre-approval" as opposed to a "pre-qualification."

Mortgage Pre-Qualification


"Mortgage Pre-qualification" does not mean you are guaranteed to receive a loan. The lender will not do any background checks. Generally, you provide a picture of your financial situation over the phone. However, if your account is not so accurate, the bank may not give final approval for your mortgage. Pre-qualification is a free service and you are under no obligation to get the mortgage from that lender if you find a better deal.

Mortgage Pre-Approval

"Mortgage Pre-approval" is no kidding around. The bank will check your credit history, employment information, your investments and your assets and liabilities - everything they check when you apply for a mortgage. Everything except for the property you're going to buy. Once you find the property you want to buy, you will then need an appraisal and a title search. Because some banks charge for pre-approval, make sure you're really going to buy a house in the relatively near future.

Your potential lender will want to know four basic things about you and the home:

  • Do you make enough money to pay the loan mortgage back?

  • How much money can the bank expect you to make in the next 15-30 years? The lender also wants to know your employment history. Have you been in the same field for the past 2 years or have moved around from industry to industry?

  • Are you trustworthy? What is your credit history? Do you pay your bills on time?

  • Does the house you want to buy justify the loan? If for some reason you are unable to pay the loan back, the lender will be forced to sell your house in order to get back the money originally loaned to you. If you borrowed more than the house is worth, the lender will lose money. To prevent such circumstances, the lender requires that you pay to have the house appraised. Usually an appraisal will cost between $200-$400. Appraisals assure the lender that you are paying a fair price for the home.

 

Creating your home wishlist

Make a Homebuying Wish List

Buying Utah Real Estate is easy. However, before you start looking, it is a good idea to prioritize your home buying wants and needs.

How many bedrooms do you want/need? Bathrooms? Must you have a garage? Large backyard? Do you absolutely hate stucco, linoleum or parking on the street? Maybe all you care about is a vaulted ceiling, a swimming pool and a window seat. Whatever your wants, needs or tastes are, write them down and tell your real estate agent.

If all you know is that you're sick of paying rent, take notes when you look at homes. Write down what you like and dislike and what you could live with. Then, relay your notes to your agent so your search can be narrowed.

 

Location, Location, Location

Opting for new home construction

How can a real estate agent help me?

Eight important questions to ask your agent

Mortgage Calculator

Contact us about buying a home