Helpful Advice, Crucial Questions To Ask, And Costs To Note Before Buying A House


Though the quest for your dream home can be exciting, the process can be the opposite, as it would involve gathering and submitting a mound of requirements, waiting to be approved for a mortgage, inspecting the property for potential issues, and so on. Overall, a typical house-buying process lasts for 50 to 60 days.

That doesn’t seem so bad, considering it’s seldom to find everything you want in a house instantly, but your house-hunt isn’t actually included in those 50 to 60 days! The nearly 3-month long period is just the typical duration of closing a mortgage loan.

Can you speed up that process, and end up with a home that’s almost brand-new?

Speeding Up the Mortgage Process

Fortunately, it’s entirely possible to cut the whole process of house-buying short. How? An experienced mortgage broker can help you. With their assistance, you can be referred to mortgage lenders offering the terms that fit your financial situation best. They will also collect your paperwork and pass it on to the lender. Simply put, they act as the intermediary between a borrower and a lender.

If you’re hesitant to hire a mortgage broker because of the costs, there’s actually nothing to worry about, because they’re only paid when the loan transaction is completed. As such, your finances can be dedicated to your down payment and other upfront costs.

Gathering the Requirements

Another way to speed up the process is to anticipate the requirements of your lender. The following are everything they will likely ask from you:

  • two months’ worth of pay stubs
  • two months’ worth of W2s
  • three months’ worth of bank statements (for all checking and savings accounts under your name)
  • proof of employment
  • retirement account balances
  • gift letters for any deposits over $5,000 (if the money wasn’t loaned)
  • proof of homeowner’s insurance
  • documentation on other assets

By gathering these documents ahead of time, you can submit them to your lender earlier, and get approved faster. As a result, the duration of your closing time may significantly reduce.

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Questions to Ask

As you consider a couple of houses to be “the one”, you should ask the sellers at least 10 key questions about the property first. Such are the following:

  • Reasons for selling. Knowing the seller’s reason for moving out of the house can help you determine if you’d have chances to negotiate.
  • Length of time in the market. If a house already becomes “stale” in the market, there might be issues other buyers saw in it.
  • Previous selling prices. This will let you know if the house can appreciate in value, and if you can negotiate for a lower price.
  • Inclusions of the sale. If the house is fully furnished, ask if all furnishings are included in the sale.
  • Issues in the area. Find out if there are unruly neighbors, bothersome noises, or crime around the area.
  • Get a comprehensive inspection to learn if there are natural hazards in the house.
  • The sellers should disclose information about any maintenance issue.
  • Age of components. This will let you know if the roof, or any other structural component, needs replacement.
  • Major repairs or renovations. A history of a faulty repair or reno can cost you money, good health, and happiness.
  • What the seller liked about the house. If a seller has a lot of good things to say about the house, chances are the deal is favorable.

Hidden Costs

Lastly, to ensure that your house-buying journey will be stress-free, find out the hidden costs early on. These include homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, HOA or condo fees, maintenance, pest control, and landscaping. By budgeting for all the costs and thoroughly inquiring about the property that feels like “the one”, you’ll be holding the keys to your dream home in no time.